# Lab 6 Momentum

Lab Assignment 6: MomentumInstructors Overview
Collisions and momentum are something we experience everyday. Most of the
collisions in our life are benign – bumping into a colleague in the hall, enjoying an
evening of bowling, or competing in a billiards tournament. Some collisions, such
as automobile accidents, are more serious. In these cases, advances in safety
technology that leverage understanding of impulses and momentum have
dramatically reduced fatalities. In this lab we will explore the concepts of impulse
and momentum.
This activity is based on Lab 12 of the eScience Lab kit.
Our lab consists of two main components. These components are described in
detail in the eScience manual. Here is a quick overview:

In the first part of the lab, you will experiment with nearly elastic collisions
using marbles.

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In the second part of the lab, you will put on your safety engineers hat and
design a safe landing zone for an egg.
Take detailed notes as you perform the experiment and fill out the sections
descriptions of your experimental methods and observations.
Experiment Tips:

Instead of using a paper chute in the marble experiment, you can “flick” the
marble(s) down the ruler groove to the stationary line of marbles as in this
image:

I recommend using hard-boiled eggs in the second component of the lab
activity. They are less messy and serve as a handy snack after you complete
the lab.
Date:
Student:
Abstract
Introduction

Material and Methods
Results
Marble experiment
questions:

Whatkindofcollisionisexhibitedbythemarblesinthisexperiment,andwhy?

Whenonemarblehittheendofthelineofmarbles,howmanyshotoffthe
other end? Describe the momentum of the set of marbles before and after
the collision (assume elastic collisions).

Howdidthespeedofthemarblethatcomesofftheendofthelinechangeas
you increased the speed of the marble that travels down the chute? Use
what you know about the conservation of momentum to describe what is
happening.

Whathappenedwhenyousenttwomarblesdownthechute?

Writedownthetotalmomentumfortwomarblesofmassmbothmovingat
velocity v. What is the kinetic energy of the system?

Whenyoudroptwoballsatonce,whydoesntonlyonemarblecomeoffthe
end twice as fast? Write down the kinetic energy of one marble with mass m
and velocity 2v and compare this to your answer in Question 4 to check.
(Note that we are assuming the collisions are perfectly elastic, when in reality
this is an approximation.)

Egg experiment
questions:

number of sheets? (Hint: over how much time is the force applied in each
case?)

Whatdidyoudotoimproveyourapparatus?

Explainhowacircusnetpreventstrapezeartistsfrominjuringthemselves
even after falling from a large height.

Whyitisimportanttobendyourkneeswhenyouhitthegroundafterjumping
from several feet in the air?

Conclusions
References
labassignment6pdf.pdf

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Lab Assignment 6: Momentum
Instructors Overview
Collisions and momentum are something we experience everyday. Most of the
collisions in our life are benign – bumping into a colleague in the hall, enjoying an
evening of bowling, or competing in a billiards tournament. Some collisions, such
as automobile accidents, are more serious. In these cases, advances in safety
technology that leverage understanding of impulses and momentum have
dramatically reduced fatalities. In this lab we will explore the concepts of impulse
and momentum.
This activity is based on Lab 12 of the eScience Lab kit.
Our lab consists of two main components. These components are described in
detail in the eScience manual. Here is a quick overview:
 In the first part of the lab, you will experiment with nearly elastic collisions
using marbles.
 In the second part of the lab, you will put on your safety engineers hat and
design a safe landing zone for an egg.
Take detailed notes as you perform the experiment and fill out the sections
descriptions of your experimental methods and observations.
Experiment Tips:
 Instead of using a paper chute in the marble experiment, you can “flick” the
marble(s) down the ruler groove to the stationary line of marbles as in this
image:
 I recommend using hard-boiled eggs in the second component of the lab
activity. They are less messy and serve as a handy snack after you complete
the lab.
Date:
Student:
Abstract
Introduction
Material and Methods
Results
Marble experiment
questions:
1. What kind of collision is exhibited by the marbles in this experiment, and why?
2. When one marble hit the end of the line of marbles, how many shot off the
other end? Describe the momentum of the set of marbles before and after
the collision (assume elastic collisions).
3. How did the speed of the marble that comes off the end of the line change as
you increased the speed of the marble that travels down the chute? Use
what you know about the conservation of momentum to describe what is
happening.
4. What happened when you sent two marbles down the chute?
5. Write down the total momentum for two marbles of mass m both moving at
velocity v. What is the kinetic energy of the system?
6. When you drop two balls at once, why doesnt only one marble come off the
end twice as fast? Write down the kinetic energy of one marble with mass m
and velocity 2v and compare this to your answer in Question 4 to check.
(Note that we are assuming the collisions are perfectly elastic, when in reality
this is an approximation.)
Egg experiment
questions:
1. Did you come up with a design that prevents the egg from breaking?
2. Why did adding layers of paper work better than one thick layer with the same
number of sheets? (Hint: over how much time is the force applied in each
case?)
3. What did you do to improve your apparatus?
4. Explain how a circus net prevents trapeze artists from injuring themselves
even after falling from a large height.
5. Why it is important to bend your knees when you hit the ground after jumping
from several feet in the air?
Conclusions
References

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