Lab 4Problem 4: Elastic Collisions
Problem Description:
Determining the efficiencies of 3 collisions between two cars in which a moving cart
collides with a stationary cart and they bounce apart due to magnetic bumpers. Of the three cases
that will be analyzed one will be in which the moving car has more mass, one will be in which
the stationary car has more mass, and one will be in which the masses equal. We will also give
an equation to find the velocities after the collision based on the initial velocity of the moving
cart.
Prediction:
Diagram of three cases:
From the diagrams it is evident that both, kinetic energy and momentum are conserved.
Using this knowledge we can use the equation for kinetic energy to find the energy efficiency.
We can use these equations and the equation for momentum to solve for the velocity of cart a
and the velocity of cart b. Using these equations I believe the most efficient collision will be
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when each cart has the same mass, the second most efficient will be when cart a has a smaller
mass and the least efficient will be when cart b has a smaller mass.
Procedure:
1.
First gain access to necessary materials, which include: track, a meter stick, carts
with magnetic bumper that fit the track, computer with the MotionLab program,
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 Spring '11
 Marshak
 Kinetic Energy, Momentum, Velocity, vAi, VAF

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