# Collisions+momentum+energy experiment

#### Atlaπtis

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
I have to do an experiment for a year 12 outcome, and I'm investigating the conservation of momentum and energy in collisions. I was going to use the air track, but my teacher told me on Friday that the air track is not working properly, and we start the prac tomorrow (monday), so i'm not sure what i'm going to do seeing as it's an outcome/SAC (i'm in Australia, so outcomes/SACs go towards our enter score to get into university)

2. Relevant equations
...

3. The attempt at a solution
So when i asked my teacher for help, he said he couldn't because it's supposed to be, like, the students finding out everything. He did say that "oh i once did a prac where i got an incline and rolled the balls off the table where they landed on carbon paper" and then he said "which you can't do because I just said it."...So i'm stuck, i've been looking on the internet (google) but I can't find very much that doesn't involve the air track...What I need is some kind of experiment, that can be LIKE what the teacher said, but has to be different...if you know what I mean?

Anyway, thanks so much to anyone that can help...I'm going to go look on yahoo and see if they have anything different lol

#### The Liberator

what exactly is this? Maybe you should look up about elastic and inelastic collisions?

By the way, I am in year 12 also.

#### Atlaπtis

Yeah I have looked that up and that's what my air track experiment was supposed to be about..but the teacher only told us at the last minute we couldn't use it...so I'm trying to find another experiment where I could test and prove the difference between elastic and inelastic collisions. But I can't find very much. I asked my group members what they wanted to do about it and they said "Well, we could just do it anyway and write on the prac report 'the air track was broken so our results are inaccurate'"...So they aren't helping very much.
I was also trying to find something maybe like, collisions between a ball and the wall, or a ball/trolley and another ball/trolley, but yeah..I don't know.... Any ideas?

(Thanks for replying by the way)

#### The Liberator

Pool tables? Um, what else in real and practicle life is inelastic and elastic collisisions happening?

Anytime, as a VCE, to VCE student, i think it natural

#### Atlaπtis

well, collisions of atoms...but I can't really do that lol
Maybe if I constucted some sort of pendlum with two steel balls attached to it and used them for collisions? I'd have to see if my school had photgates though...But that would nearly be elastic as there wouldn't be any friction...well, apart from the small friction between the two balls during the collision and the air resisitance...but not as much as just whacking two balls together... lol i bet anything that my school wouldn't have photogates though..So i'd have to find another way to time it...
I swear, my physics teacher doesn't help with anything...he doesn't even set us homework he just says we should know what we have to do and if we have any problems we should "go google it"

#### The Liberator

do you have a bocce set?

toy cars?

#### thepopasmurf

I'm not sure what kind of supervision you need for your experiments but could use an air hockey table

#### Atlaπtis

Okay, the air track is now useable, the only problem is is that we only have one photo gate and a pulley, only the pulley is impacting on it too much....Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get data from the air track? I thought maybe a strobe light and a camera, but i don't know if that would provide accurate results...

#### The Liberator

That very well might work, the only reason why it might not, is because the camera might not be able to record enough frames in a second, for you to be able to break the recording down and analyse it properly. The strob light might help it do that, but I cannot say for sure, as I have never needed to closely analyse the data to give close and factual answers before.

### The Physics Forums Way

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving