Recommended for High School through College.
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.
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.