Experiment Mi-04

Velocity of Bullet Using the Air Track


A piece of clay is attached to an air cart. A BB gun is used to shoot a bullet at the clay, causing the system to move. The velocity of the recoiling cart is measured using a photogate. The mass of the bullet is determined by weighing an identical bullet and the mass of the clay and cart are determined using a scale. The measured masses and velocity are used to calculate the initial velocity of the bullet.

NOTE: The BB gun MUST be fired HOIZONTALLY, parallel to the track.


Cart with the clay inside the metal enclosure on the left end.


The air cart before it has been shot and begun to move.


Air cart after it has moved through the photogate.


Materials: piece of clay, air track, air cart, BB gun, bullets, photogate, electronic timer (use with photogate).


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