The 2D Collisions Momentum Lab is a software simulation where students will analyze a print out of a 2 ball collision and show that the initial momentum is equal to the final momentum.
In the real life set up of this lab, a ball is rolled down an incline off of a table above the floor. The ball falls onto a large piece of paper and makes a mark with the help of a piece of carbon paper. Then a second run is made where the first ball is rolled down the incline and strikes a second ball, both falling to the ground and making marks on the paper. By adding the two momentum vectors of the two ball collision, or final momentum, students can show that it adds up to the momentum vector of the first ball, or initial momentum.
There are two simulations: 1) when the balls have equal mass, and 2) where the balls have unequal mass. Screen shots of the real life setup and main menu are shown below.
After the simulation is run, the screen is printed out for analysis. The software includes a drawing of the real life setup, a set of directions for running the software, and a step by step guide to making the momentum vector drawings and solutions.
There is no lab handout, since the entire lab is contained inside of the software. Students can print out screens that contain the data and follow directions to make graphs and calculations.
All of the files are provided in a Zip file. A list is given below:
Software: 2D CollisionLab.exe
Requirements: PC and Windows XP or later
This file: InstructorsNotes.doc
Lab Handout: 2DcollisionLab.doc and PDF (reference only)
Lab Key: 2D CollisionLab_Key.doc and PDF
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physics, mechanics, momentum, collisions, adding graphically, conservation of momentum, software, simulation, software, experiment, lab