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EXPERIMENT PRINCIPLE OF CONSERVATION OF LINEAR MOMENTUM Objective: To verify the principle of conservation of linear momentum. Theory: Linear momentum, p is a vector quantity defined as the product of mass and velocity. For a body mass, m and velocity, v; its momentum is given as p = mv. In the absence of external force, that is, in an isolated system, the total momentum of the system is constant. In other words, the total momentum is conserved. This is known as the Principle of Conservation of Linear Momentum. Applying the Principle of Conservation of Linear Momentum in collision, the total momentum of the colliding bodies remains the same before and after the collision. Let m1 and m2 be the masses of two colliding bodies (i.e body 1 and body 2) as shown in Figure 3.1 and u1, u2, v1 and v2 are the velocities before and after the collision of the body 1 and body 2 respectively. We may write this as: m1u1 + m2u2 = m1v1 + m2v2 since momentum is a vector quantity, the principle of conservation of linear momentum is equally true in both x-axis and y-axis direction. In the case of an oblique impact, we resolve the momentum into x-axis and y-axis and we may write the equation as: x-axis and y-axis 0 = m1v1 sinα – m2v2 sinβ m1u1 = m1v1 cosα + m2v2 cosβ

. The first ball bearings is released from the top of the track so that it gains momentum m1u1 before it hits the second ball bearing which is stationary at the horizontal end of the track. we shall study the collision between two ball bearings on a curved track.a) head-on-collision Figure 3.1 In the experiment.

Ball bearing 1 Curved track Horizontal end Table h R Figure 3. we may write: . If t is the time of flight.2a Ball bearing 1 Ball bearing 2 Table Carbon paper Figure 3.2b Let h be the height of the ball bearing 1 from the falling point to the ground when it starts to fall freely and R is its horizontal displacement. then from the kinematics equation.

5 and 3. u = R√g/2h 3. .-h = 0 + ½ (-g) t2 t = √ 2h/g The horizontal displacement of the ball bearing. we may write: x-axis and y-axis 0 = m1y1 – m2y2 3. if equation 3.3 respectivelyninto equation 3. the principle of conservation of linear momentum is thus verified.6 m1x0 = m1x1 + m2x2 3.6 are practically satisfied. the velocity of the ball bearing is directly proportional to its horizontal displacement.2 and 3. R = uxt Where ux = u = velocity of the ball bearing as it reach the horizontal track end R = u√2h/g Thus.4 Evidently. R. Since the balls fall from the same height.5 Evidently.4. by substituting equations 3.

A curved track 3. A piece of string 5. A piece of drawing paper (A3) 8.0 cm) 4. A pendulum bob 6.3 . 2 ball bearings (diameter of 1. A piece of carbon paper (A4) 9. A level table 2.Apparatus: 1. A meter rule 7. A retort stand Carbon Paper Curved Track Pendulum Landing point of ball bearing 1 m1 R1 α β R2 x1 Table x2 x0 y1 y2 Table 3.

5. the landing point of ball bearing 1 on the floor was observed. The ball bearing 2 was placed on the end of the horizontal track slightly off the path of ball bearing 1 so that an oblique collision occurs.2a. 9. 2. 8. The position of landing points for each ball bearing i.01) g Reading Distance from the pendulum to the . This position was marked on the track. In order to place the carbon paper on top of a drawing paper. x0 was measured. The mass of the two ball bearing.y1 and y2 were measured.71 ± 0.01) g Mass of ball bearing 2 : (16.0 ± 0. 11.(Refer to Figure 3. This step was repeated to obtain at least 5 readings and the average value of x0 were calculated. The ball bearing 1 was released from a certain height on the curved track shown as point A in figure. These two ball bearings will subsequently collide and fall freely in a projectile motion. 7.Procedure: 1.3) 10. The ball bearing 1 was released from point A (Refer to Figure 3.x2.2b). The apparatus was set up as in Figure 3.e.m1 and m2 was weigh. Tabulate the data. The ball bearing 1 was released from point A. Step 8 was repeated for at least another four times.27 ± 0. Observation: Height of point A : (46. x1. 3. 4. The ball bearing 1 was released from point A and the distance from the pendulum to the landing point of ball bearing 1. 6.1) cm Mass of ball bearing 1 : (28.

6 2.367 Thus.2) = (28. m1x0 = m1x1 + m2x2 = (870.2 30.0 79.0 3.1 2 3 4 5 Average Table 1 landing point.71)(3.5 4.6 81.6 1.8 2.27)(30.7) 0 = (62. we used equation 3.1) cm 78.7 30.8 1.3 2.594) (28.27)(2.1) cm 78.7 2.984) Thus.2 Reading 1 2 3 4 5 Average Ball bearing 1 X1(±0.5 and 3.1) cm Y2(±0. .4 84.984) (2238.0 78. For x-axis.984 ≠ 2237.8 31.1) cm 29.8) + (16.8 79.716) + (1366.878) = (2237.1) cm Y1(±0.7 31.7 81. 2238.594 And for the y-axis.2 Table 2 Ball bearing 2 X2(±0.5 80.4 3.7 3.194) – (61.8) (2238.827) 0 = 0.8 3.71)(81.2) – (16.5 79.7 81.27)(79. 0 = m1y1 − m2y2 0 = (28.6 30.4 3.x0 (± 0.7 Calculation: In order to prove that the experiment verify the principle of conservation of linear momentum.1 83.6 to calculate the results.

This is because the experiment was handled in the room.0 ≠ 0.367 So. The error also happens when taking the measurement using the metre rule. The point is only 0. The metre rule is not so accurate and not very sensitive. The result was tempered and not accurate. both equation does not verify the principle of conservation of linear momentum. there was no air resistance and another force that react on the experiment. Discussion : The result cannot be obtained due to some error such as air resistance. Conclusion . To get the correct result the experiment should be carry out in the vacuum medium. the collision of the ball bearing will never same as stated in the theory due to some limitation. the calculation will never be accurate Besides that. In the vacuum medium. So. Lastly try to reduce the errors by using the zero parallax error instrument.1.

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