Physics 4AL
Lab for Science and
Engineering Mechanics
Experiment:
Lab Section:
Name:
UID:
Date:
TA:
Partner:
Lab Station:
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Introduction/Purpose/Theory/Equations:
The theory behind this experiment is simple. By sliding a glider down the track to
hit a force transducer and then return back, we can measure the change in momentum in
each direction, and thus figure out the force that it exerted on the FT.
From this, we can
calculate the Impulse of the collision. The purpose is to show that by calculating the
change in momentum, the Impulse can be found. These were the equations needed to
obtain the necessary information…
Velocity = Length / Time
Momentum = Mass X Velocity
Change in Momentum = Momentum 1 + Momentum 2
Voltage for Integration = Calculated Voltage – Baseline Voltage
Impulse = Integral of Force with respect to time
Procedure:
This experiment included two parts. The first part was to calibrate the Force
Transducer. For this, we hung a series of five weights from the FT, and measured the
voltage that the FT sent to the computer. Using this, we compared the voltage to the force
of the hanging mass to make a good conversion factor between the two. Next, we had to
measure the impulse. We set up an air track with a FT at the end, and a photogate towards
the FT. In the experiment, we will send a glider down the air track with a little flag on top
of it. When the front of the flag hits breaks the photogate, the FT starts recording for
exactly one second, and the photogate begins recording the time interval until the flag
passes the gate. The glider then hits the FT, changes direction, and goes back through the
photogate. As the flag passes through the photogate for the second time, the second time
interval is recorded. From this, we get the time interval towards the FT, the time interval
away from the FT, and the voltage from the FT. From these values, we can obtain
velocities, momentums, forces, and impulses.
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 Fall '08
 SLATER
 Physics, mechanics, Mass, baseline voltage

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