I was just wondering if someone would be kind enough to look over these solutions and tell me if I am correct. The lab was a simple ballistic pendulum, which I am sure every physics student performs.
The Attempt at a Solution
1.) Compare/contrast elastic and inelastic collisions.
During an elastic collision, both energy and momentum are conserved. During an inelastic collision, momentum is conserved, but energy is not.
2.) Where did the energy lost during the collision between the projectile and the receiver go?
The energy lost during the collision between the projectile and the reciever was dissipated in the form of heat, sound, vibration, et al.
3.) During what portions of this process is momentum conserved?
Momentum is conserved prior to, and immediately after the inelastic collision between the projectile and the pendulum.
4.) During what portions of this process is energy conserved?
Energy is always conserved. However, if you were to treat this process as it’s own system, and consider energy lost due to heat, sound, and other things “lost”, then energy would be conserved from the start of the process, to the time just before the ball strikes the pendulum. It would also be conserved after the projectile and mass attain their initial kinetic energy from the collision and continue on to the point in which that kinetic energy is transferred into potential energy at it’s maximum height.
5.) Overall, is the operation of the ballistic pendulum a conservative or non conservative process?
Overall, I would say that the operation of the ballistic pendulum is a non conservative process, because some energy is lost from the process/system in the form of heat, sound, and other forms during the collision.