Using a puley for analysis on an air track?

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using a puley for analysis on an air track???

I'm doing an experiment using an air track, and my school only has one photogate/lightgate. So I'm trying to figure out a way of using the pulley (not an actual pulley, one that is used with a data logger to record time and velocity) without it effecting the experiment...We have tried heaps of different ways but all the things we have done have either added too much drag to the air track trolley thing so it hasn't been able to move freely or the wire of the pulley has interfered (as it's connected to the data logger) and it has pulled the trolley down the track...so i'm stuck...Anyone got any ideas?? Or know of any other way we can measure the trolleys?

(by the way, my experiment is to do with collisions (momentum and energy))
 
Re: using a puley for analysis on an air track???

What about a strobe light and a camera? Would that be accurate?
 
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Re: using a puley for analysis on an air track???

If your air track is an air table. then you could attach the trolley to a string which is tied to a pivot in the center of the table. Then a single photogate can record the transit time around the circle. Because the force of the string is perpendicular to the trolley's velocity, it should not change it.
 
Re: using a puley for analysis on an air track???

Nah, it's just a normal air track
 
Re: using a puley for analysis on an air track???

What data logger are you using?

What specific data do you want to record--pos. vs. time for one cart, for each cart, seperation between the carts vs. time...?
 
Re: using a puley for analysis on an air track???

To be honest, I actually don't remember what it said on the top of the data logger. It's one of the ones that are hooked up to a computer, and it's used with a program called Tainlab WinTec. I'm on the programs website and I'm pretty sure it's the TecMaster.

What I am looking to record is the distance vs time or velocity vs time for one cart just before the collisions and then for the other cart just after the collision (the second cart will be stationary). The experiment I am trying to do is about kinetic energy and momentum
 

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