Lab
Inelastic Collision - Velocity of a Softball
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This lab is a
ballistic pendulum analogy
. Its
purpose
is to determine the velocity of a softball using equations from the law of conservation of momentum and work-energy relationships.
Equipment
cardboard box
packing material (plastic bags and paper)
softball
meter stick
spring scale
triple beam balance
Procedure and Data
1. Loosely pack a cardboard box with packing material so that a softball thrown into the box will remain trapped - you do not want the ball to "bounce back out!"
2. Measure and record the mass of the softball and then the mass of the packed box.
mass of softball (kg)
mass of packed box (kg)
total mass of packed box and softball (kg)
3. Place the box on a smooth surface and mark its starting position.
4. Throw (do not roll) the softball into the box - be careful to not tip the box over or cause it to spin, you only need to throw the ball fast enough to move the box 10-30 centimeters in a straight line.
5. Measure and record the distance the box moved.
distance box traveled (m)
6. Measure the force of friction by pulling the box (with the ball still trapped inside) at a constant speed across the same section of floor. Remember that the spring scale MUST remain parallel to the floor.
frictional force (N)
Calculations and Analysis
1. How much work, in joules, was done on the box by friction as the box, packing and softball slid to a stop after the collision?
Enter your data for friction and distance traveled in the EXCEL spreadsheet, work.xls, to verify your calculations. Then complete the following statement:
The work done by a force
F
acting through a distance
s
is determined graphically as the ____ of the graph.
2. Which forces would belong on a freebody diagram of the box as it slides to a stop? (assume that it is moving towards the right)
1
2
3
4
5
6
3. What average acceleration, in m/sec
^{2}
, did the box experience?
4. How fast, in m/sec, was the box, packing and softball moving immediately following the collision?
5. What impulse, in N sec, did the softball deliver to the box and packing material?
6. By Newton's third law, the impulse delivered to the box and packing material equals the impulse received by the ball. Using this information, calculate the initial velocity, in m/sec, of the softball.
7. Devise a follow-up experiment that could be conducted to verify the value for the velocity calculated in question #6.
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Resource Lesson:
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A Further Look at Impulse
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Advanced Gravitational Forces
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Air Resistance
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Air Resistance: Terminal Velocity
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APC: Work Notation
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Conservation of Energy and Springs
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Energy Conservation in Simple Pendulums
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Famous Discoveries: The Franck-Hertz Experiment
RL -
Forces Acting at an Angle
RL -
Freebody Diagrams
RL -
Gravitational Energy Wells
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Inclined Planes
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Inertial vs Gravitational Mass
RL -
Linear Momentum
RL -
Mechanical Energy
RL -
Momentum and Energy
RL -
Newton's Laws of Motion
RL -
Non-constant Resistance Forces
RL -
Potential Energy Functions
RL -
Principal of Least Action
RL -
Properties of Friction
RL -
Rotational Dynamics: Pivoting Rods
RL -
Rotational Kinetic Energy
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Springs and Blocks
RL -
Springs: Hooke's Law
RL -
Static Equilibrium
RL -
Symmetries in Physics
RL -
Systems of Bodies
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Tension Cases: Four Special Situations
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The Law of Universal Gravitation
RL -
Universal Gravitation and Satellites
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Universal Gravitation and Weight
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What is Mass?
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Work
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Work and Energy
Worksheet:
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Puppy Love
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The Antelope
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The Box Seat
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The Jogger
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The Pepsi Challenge
APP -
The Pet Rock
APP -
The Pool Game
APP -
The Raft
CP -
Action-Reaction #1
CP -
Action-Reaction #2
CP -
Conservation of Energy
CP -
Conservation of Momentum
CP -
Equilibrium on an Inclined Plane
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Falling and Air Resistance
CP -
Force and Acceleration
CP -
Force and Weight
CP -
Force Vectors and the Parallelogram Rule
CP -
Freebody Diagrams
CP -
Gravitational Interactions
CP -
Incline Places: Force Vector Resultants
CP -
Incline Planes - Force Vector Components
CP -
Inertia
CP -
Mobiles: Rotational Equilibrium
CP -
Momentum
CP -
Momentum and Energy
CP -
Momentum and Kinetic Energy
CP -
Momentum Practice Problems
CP -
Momentum Systems and Conservation
CP -
Net Force
CP -
Newton's Law of Motion: Friction
CP -
Power Production
CP -
Satellites: Circular and Elliptical
CP -
Static Equilibrium
CP -
Tensions and Equilibrium
CP -
Work and Energy
NT -
Acceleration
NT -
Air Resistance #1
NT -
An Apple on a Table
NT -
Apex #1
NT -
Apex #2
NT -
Cliffs
NT -
Elliptical Orbits
NT -
Escape Velocity
NT -
Falling Rock
NT -
Falling Spheres
NT -
Friction
NT -
Frictionless Pulley
NT -
Gravitation #1
NT -
Gravitation #2
NT -
Head-on Collisions #1
NT -
Head-on Collisions #2
NT -
Ice Boat
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Momentum
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Ramps
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Rotating Disk
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Sailboats #1
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Sailboats #2
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Satellite Positions
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Scale Reading
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Settling
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Skidding Distances
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Spiral Tube
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Tensile Strength
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Terminal Velocity
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Tug of War #1
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Tug of War #2
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Two-block Systems
WS -
Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #1
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Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #2
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Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #3
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Calculating Force Components
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Charged Projectiles in Uniform Electric Fields
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Combining Kinematics and Dynamics
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Distinguishing 2nd and 3rd Law Forces
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Energy Methods: More Practice with Projectiles
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Energy Methods: Projectiles
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Energy/Work Vocabulary
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Force vs Displacement Graphs
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Freebody Diagrams #1
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Freebody Diagrams #2
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Freebody Diagrams #3
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Freebody Diagrams #4
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Introduction to Springs
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Kinematics Along With Work/Energy
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Lab Discussion: Gravitational Field Strength and the Acceleration Due to Gravity
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Lab Discussion: Inertial and Gravitational Mass
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net F = ma
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Potential Energy Functions
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Practice: Momentum and Energy #1
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Practice: Momentum and Energy #2
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Practice: Vertical Circular Motion
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Ropes and Pulleys in Static Equilibrium
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Rotational Kinetic Energy
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Standard Model: Particles and Forces
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Static Springs: The Basics
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Vocabulary for Newton's Laws
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Work and Energy Practice: An Assortment of Situations
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Work and Energy Practice: Forces at Angles
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Systems of Bodies (including pulleys)
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Work, Power, Kinetic Energy
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