# How would I go about graphing a momentum experiment? (Design Lab)

• Owatch
In summary, Homework statement says that in order to prove the conservation of momentum, you need to use a graph to find out if the calculated kinetic energy is really reflected in the force meter's reading when it impacts it.
Owatch

## Homework Statement

Alright, for my design lab I've gotten around and figured out how I'm going to record the data, but when I saw I needed a graph, I'm not sure what to do. I can prove my experiment to be true without using a graph.

This is because I essentially have a weighted object with a certain momentum going to hit a trolley, that will go down a track and then hit a force sensor, this is to prove the conservation of momentum.

But I can't really graph the results.

I mean, what you really need to do is the find out if the calculated kinetic energy (from the mass hitting the trolley) is really reflected in the force sensor readings.

I'm stumped...

How do I use a graph for this...

## Homework Equations

p = mv. (And knowing that the lowest point in a pendulum is where all the potential energy is turned into kinetic) (The mass hitting the trolley is swinging down from a pendulum)

m1v1 = m2v2

## The Attempt at a Solution

Not really one I can see

I mean, what you really need to do is the find out if the calculated kinetic energy (from the mass hitting the trolley) is really reflected in the force sensor readings.
Momentum or energy?

Do you know how force, time and momentum are related?

Well, I'm supposed to be proving the conservation of momentum.

So essentially, having the mass collide with the trolley will send a certain amount of energy into it, giving it a certain momentum, and that momentum should be reflected in the force meter's reading when it impacts it.

momentum is Mass * Velocity.
I can get the kinetic energy the trolley will receive when impacted by the mass using MGH. (for potential) (As it will all be kinetic at the base of the pendulum)

Then, since Ke = 1/2mv^2
I can solve for v, getting the velocity.

Then I can calculate momentum via p= MV.

And then since Force = Mass * distance. (Or displacement?)

Then MV = MS, and I have S(distance) and M would cancel.

Then...well you got me. (lost now sorry, doing lots of work at the same time)

EDIT: But force = ma, so I'm wrong... GREAT.

Last edited:
Owatch said:
Well, I'm supposed to be proving the conservation of momentum.
You cannot prove momentum conservation. You can observe it, you can check it for your setup, and you can use it to predict things, but there is no way to prove a fundamental rule of physics.

and that momentum should be reflected in the force meter's reading when it impacts it.

momentum is Mass * Velocity.
I can get the kinetic energy the trolley will receive when impacted by the mass using MGH. (for potential) (As it will all be kinetic at the base of the pendulum)

Then, since Ke = 1/2mv^2
I can solve for v, getting the velocity.

Then I can calculate momentum via p= MV.
I agree

And then since Force = Mass * distance. (Or displacement?)
No.

To repeat my question: Do you know how force, time and momentum are related?

I do not know, how force and momentum are related.

You can check the units (expressed in kg, m, s) to find some relation.

Ah hA!

Force * Time = Momentum.

GLOR-I-OUS

## 1. How do I choose a suitable graph type for my momentum experiment?

The type of graph you choose will depend on the type of data you are collecting and the relationships you want to show. For a momentum experiment, a line graph or scatter plot would be most appropriate for showing the relationship between momentum and other variables.

## 2. What should I include on my graph?

Your graph should include a title, labeled x and y axes with units, and a legend if you have multiple data sets. It may also be helpful to include error bars or a best-fit line to show the accuracy of your data.

## 3. How do I determine the scale for my graph?

The scale for your graph should be chosen based on the range of your data. You want to ensure that all of your data points are visible on the graph, without making the graph too crowded. It may also be helpful to use a logarithmic scale if your data covers a large range of values.

## 4. How do I interpret my graph to draw conclusions about my momentum experiment?

To interpret your graph, look at the overall trend of the data. Is it increasing, decreasing, or staying constant? Also, pay attention to any patterns or outliers in the data. These can provide insights into the relationship between momentum and other variables in your experiment.

## 5. Can I use software to create my graph?

Yes, there are several software options available for creating graphs, such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or scientific graphing software like GraphPad Prism. These software programs allow you to input your data and create a variety of graph types with customizable features.

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