Linear Momentum Conservation

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Description of the Experiment

The purpose of this experiment is to study the concepts of reference frame and center of mass.

Experimental Apparatus

Experimental setup

This experiment is composed of:

  • 1 track
  • 2 cars
  • 1 step motor
  • 2 electric motors
  • 2 parking sensors
  • 1 electronic circuit with:
    • 1 circuit to turn the stamp on
    • 2 motion detectors


The user can choose the following parameters:

  • Car A's energy
  • Car B's energy
  • Reference frame where the collision will be observed:
    • car A
    • car B
    • center of mass
    • laboratory
  1. Choose each car's initial speed;
  2. After several runs, with the information of initial and final speed, verify the conservation of momentum and energy;
  3. Do a few runs with the camera fixed on one of the cars and on the center of mass and make some remarks;
  4. Repeat for several combinations of initial speeds.