collisionsv2 - DUKE PHYSICS COLLISIONS AND SPRINGS...

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D U K E P H Y S I C S C O L L I S I O N S A N D S P R I N G S Collisions and Springs hen objects collide, the action and reaction forces between them result in a transfer of momentum from one to the other. In this lab you will investigate several aspects of a collision between two carts on a nearly frictionless track. By observing such a simple system, you will be able to look carefully at several fundamental features that also apply in systems ranging from the subatomic to the galactic scale. The key concepts to focus on are the validity of Newton's Third Law and the conservation of momentum. W In addition, you will explore the way in which the force exerted by a spring varies with compression and/or motion. This will require a good understanding of how velocity data can be reconstructed from knowledge of the force on an object as a function of time. NOTE : This lab introduces the concept of impulse . The experimental part of this lab may take a full two hours of focused work. In order to get the full benefit of the lab (and a decent grade), you must prepare before you come to lab by reading about impulse in your textbook and completing the warm-up activity below. Warm-up Activity: Prediction of Motion and Forces Consider the two identical blocks A and B pictured below, which lie on a frictionless track. Block B has a spring on it that acts as a bumper. Initially, block B is at rest and block A is moving towards it with speed v. The two blocks collide and eventually head their separate ways, sliding without friction along the surface. Figure 1 Choose 5 key moments during the process and sketch them in the numbered boxes on the next page, being sure to show the state of the spring in each picture.
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D U K E P H Y S I C S C O L L I S I O N S A N D S P R I N G S In the boxes marked A and B , draw free body diagrams of blocks A and B for each of the 5 stages. Draw the lengths of the arrows in your diagrams to clearly show which forces are larger. Indicate forces of equal strength by labeling them with the same lower case letter. (E.g. two equal and opposite forces could each carry the letter q .) 1 A B 2 A B 3 A B
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D U K E P H Y S I C S C O L L I S I O N S A N D S P R I N G S 4 A B 5 A B Warm-up Experiment Prepare the apparatus On the computer, go to
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