Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Center of Mass Motions

Introduction

When analyzing collisions between several objects, physicists define a point in space known as the center of mass of the system of objects in order to simplify the analysis of motions before and after collisions. In particular, the center of mass of a colliding system that experiences no net outside force is defined as a point that moves at a constant velocity before, during and after the collisions.

Objectives

In this activity, you will

  • Predict the location of the center of mass of a system consisting of two carts of equal mass as they undergo collisions.
  • Predict the location of the center of mass of a system consisting of two carts of unequal mass as they undergo collisions.
  • Determine how your predicted center of mass moves in each of the collisions.

Software for Experiment

This experiment uses Logger Pro software for video analysis. The video for analysis is included with the lab book.

Standards Correlations

No standards correlations for this experiment.

Experiment 15 from Physics with Video Analysis Lab Book

<em>Physics with Video Analysis</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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