Physics 141, Fall 2016.

Department of Physics and Astronomy | University of Rochester
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Laboratory 5, Collisions. Watch the movie!

In this laboratory we will conduct collision experiments to study the correlation between loss of kinetic energy and deformation of soda cans.

We will be carrying out the collisions in the May room in Wilson Commons, using two large collision carts. Each collision will be videotaped for off-line analysis. Before we will carry out the collisions we will need to determine the parameters we need to record. Good record keeping is important. Each student will carry out three collisions. As part of the analysis the following questions will be asked:

  • determine the momenta of the carts (+students) before and after the collision
  • determine the kinetic energies of the carts (+students) before and after the collision
  • determine the correlation between the total change in the kinetic energy in the collision and the deformation of the cans
  • determine the correlation between the change in the momentum of a cart the deformation of the cans on that cart

In order to be able to answer these questions we need to make sure that we records the following information:

  • mass of the carts
  • length of the carts (for calibration in video point)
  • mass of the students
  • type and dimensions of cans used
  • deformation of cans after the collision

The analysis of this collision experiment will be carried out during the next two weeks (see details discussed in class on Thursday 11/17).

Details about the collisions can be found by looking at the following pages:

  • A suggestion on what to do with your soda can be found by clicking here (video provided by S. Torrisi, Class of 2016).
  • Details about the analysis procedure can be found by clicking here.
  • Links to the collision videos can be found here.
  • Links to the can data can be found using the following links:
  • Click here to see a demonstration of the capabilities of IGor Pro to help you process the data from this experiment.
  • Click here to access a form to submit the results of the analysis of your collisions.

The results of the video analyses can be obtained in the following ways:

  • Click here to download an Excel document with the momenta and kinetic energies before and after the collisions.
  • Click here to view the values of the momenta and kinetic energies before and after the collisions.

The point distribution for the lab report describing experiment # 5 can be found by clicking here.

The laboratory report for this laboratory will be due on Friday December 9, 2016 at 12 pm (to be dropped off in the 141 Laboratory Locker, opposite of B&L 106).

Last updated on Friday, December 2, 2016 17:04

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