Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
Tech Info Library

How do I use two motion detectors or two motion encoders at once to study collisions?

The Dynamics Cart and Track System, order code DTS, $269 and Motion Detector, order code MD-BTD, $89 are a great combination for studying collisions. Setting them up is fairly straight forward:
1. Attach a Motion Detector to each end of the track using a Motion Detector Bracket, included in the DTS kit and available separately.
2. Level the track. Place a cart on the track at rest and observe its motion. Adjust the leveling feet accordingly.
3. Place the second cart on the track. Place the two carts end to end near the middle of the track.
4. Connect each Motion Detector to a Vernier interface.
5. In software, zero each Motion Detector and reverse one of them. Doing so with the two carts near the center of the track will create a common coordinate system for the carts.

You are now ready to begin your collision investigation. Use the hook-and-pile and magnetic cart tabs to create inelastic and elastic collisions. Use the trigger button on the plunger cart end cap to create superelastic collisions.

Some additional notes:
* You may substitute Encoder Carts and Encoder Receivers, from the Dynamics Cart and Track System with Motion Encoder, order code DTS-EC, $409, for standard carts and Motion Detectors in the directions above. Be sure you have two Encoder Strips on your track, one for each Encoder Cart. A second stripe is available as Motion Encoder Long Track Strip, order code METS-LONG, $5.
* You can mix and match Motion Detectors and Encoder Receivers, if you have both systems. Zeroing and reversing the Encoder Receivers works the same as it does for Motion Detectors.
* If you have a limited number of sensors, consider doubling up from multiple cart and track systems to set up collision experiments.

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