Phys Lab 1

# Phys Lab 1 - Measuring the Relationship Between the Energy...

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Measuring the Relationship Between the Energy of “Asteroids” and the Diameter of Their Respective Impact Craters John Domanick 9/14/10 Partners: Jordan Pardo, Matt Weiner Teaching Fellow: Tim Harden

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Abstract: In this experiment we investigated the collisions of steel balls “asteroids” with a bucket of sand “Earth.” Specifically we looked at the relationship between the kinetic energy of the ball upon impact with the sand, and the size of the crater formed in the collision. Theoretically we know that the two are related by the equation: D=CE ¼ We hoped to determine how well our craters followed this relationship, and whether or not the ¼ exponent of energy was truly ¼. By changing the energy of the ball by dropping it from various altitudes, and then measuring the resulting craters we were able to determine that the kinetic energy of the ball and the diameter of the impact crater are indeed related by this equation, with the exponent of energy being determined to be 0.240±0.021.
Theory: When two objects collide there is some degree of energy transfer between the two objects. In the case of an asteroids impacting earth the high kinetic energy of the asteroids is transferred to many smaller particles of much smaller mass, which causes them to eject away from the collision site, leaving a crater at the impact site. This is due to the kinetic energy equation E k =½mv 2 (1) Where m is the mass of the object and v is the velocity of the object. The kinetic energy of the asteroid is transferred to many small mass particles, which now have quite large velocities, which cause them to move away from the impact site. This mass displacement of matter is what forms the crater. It is very hard to accurately measure the velocity of a falling object at the exact moment of impact; the kinetic energy upon impact cannot be measured. Instead the potential energy of the object at rest before falling can be calculated using the equation E p =mgh (2) where m is again the mass of the object, g is the acceleration due to gravity, and h is the height above the ground. Before its fall an object has only potential energy and no kinetic energy, as it is at rest, and at the moment of impact the object has converted all of

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## This note was uploaded on 10/06/2011 for the course PHYS 19 taught by Professor Blocker during the Fall '10 term at Brandeis.

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Phys Lab 1 - Measuring the Relationship Between the Energy...

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