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Conservation of Momentum Lab Report

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Conservation of Momentum Partial Lab Report
Results Summary
Elastic Collision Initial Momentum = .414 N | Initial Momentum = 0 N | Initial Kinetic Energy = .084 J | Initial KE = 0 J | V1’ = .0596 m/s | V2’ = .462 m/s | Final Momentum = .061 N | Final Momentum = .354 N | Final KE = .00182 J | Final KE = 0.082 J |

Inelastic Collision Initial Momentum = n/a | Initial Momentum = n/a | Initial Kinetic Energy = n/a | Initial KE = n/a | V1’ = n/a | V2’ = n/a | Final Momentum = n/a | Final Momentum = n/a | Final KE = n/a | Final KE = n/a |

Discussion For the first part of our lab we were able to successfully show that both kinetic energy and momentum were conserved during the collision. As stated in the lab procedure, we kept one mass heavier than the other and made the heavier object collide with the lighter object at rest. Looking back, there wasn’t too much difference between the sizes of the mass. There was only a 300 gram difference in the system and that may have helped in keeping the collision elastic. The speed was recorded as .404 m/s and that also may have helped in causing the object at rest to bounce off the moving object. We were not able to complete the inelastic collision part of the lab because we were not able to make the objects stick together. We were not sure if the plane the objects were set on was level and this may have caused the objects to keep bouncing away from each other. We also kept the weight and velocity (roughly) the same from the elastic test, which could have also led to not completing the inelastic portion of the lab. One of my lab partners insisted to keep the weight the same even though the lab instructed us to have the lighter mass at rest again. The mass difference should have been greater to test the inelasticity, that way we wouldn’t have been running the same test again. Alluding back to the steel balls (nearly perfectly elastic) example, if the weight of one the objects was way bigger, the momentum would have been conserved, but we would have lost some kinetic energy.

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