Day 114 – Colliding Carts

carts3.gifPhysics 11 – As an introduction to momentum, I have a cart interacting with a force sensor. We dug out an old airtrack and it seems to work pretty good for this. The gif above shows carts colliding on the airtrack.

As for the activity, students make a prediction as to what a Force vs. time graph would like like. I was very pleased and impressed that the students overwhelmingly made a good prediction. Note: sometimes it is not good to make predictions as they can help reinforce misconceptions!

I had a force sensor for this activity but not a motion sensor. I was able to hook up to the Pasco DataStudio software and show the class the F vs t graph. I then had students compare the area under the graph to the change in momentum. To find the momentum, the students were given the mass but they needed to analyze video to get the velocities. That’s about as far as we got today.

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