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Lab 4 - Collisions

# Lab 4 - Collisions - Physics 7A Collisions lab v 5.0 p 1 of...

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Physics 7A Collisions lab, v. 5.0 p. 1 of 8 NAME ______________________________ PARTNER'S NAME ___________________ Date _______________ GSI _______________ Lab Day/Time _____________ LAB 4: COLLISIONS Lab Introduction This lab investigates collisions, both elastic and inelastic. By understanding these different kinds of collisions, you can develop better intuitions, which enables you to solve hard problems and to avoid making some common mistakes involving energy and/or momentum conservation. Equipment Your GSI will show how to use the photogate timers, and the plunger on the launch cart. Experimental Procedure Measuring velocity In the following experiments, we want to know the velocities of the carts both before and after the collisions. We will be using photogates, and a data acquisition program to measure times and calculate speeds. The metal tab on the cart will pass through a single photogate interrupting the light beam. The computer will record the time the beam was interrupted and use that together with the

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Physics 7A Collisions lab, v. 5.0 p. 2 of 8 known width of the tab (4 cm) to calculate the average speed of the cart. Note: the photogate doesn't care which way the cart passes through, so we are only finding magnitudes not directions. Also keep in mind this is an approximation ( x/ t) to the instantaneous velocity (dx/dt). NOTE : If you haven't already done so, turn on the computer now. The program you will be using can be started by double clicking on the 7A_Collisions.mbl icon. It is set up to record two times and compute two speeds, one for each photogate. When you click on the START button (or simply hit RETURN ) the computer will be ready to collect data (though it only collects it when something passes through the photogates.) You should position the photogates to measure the speeds you are looking for. For example, the figure shown would measure the initial speed of the launch cart and the post collision speed of the second cart. Make sure you pay attention to which cart is passing through which photogate, if you don't it is easy to get mixed up as to which time and speed is which. For example, in the first experiment you will do, the carts will stick together after the collision, that means the tab from cart #2 will pass through photogate #2 followed by the tab from cart #1, i.e. you will have triggered photogate #2 TWICE. A Couple of Suggestions
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Lab 4 - Collisions - Physics 7A Collisions lab v 5.0 p 1 of...

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