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Physics – Collision lab worksheet

5.04 PhET Collision Lab

[Enter Your Name Here]

1. Open the following simulation:
http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/collision-lab/collision-lab_en.html

Adjust the buttons and boxes in the green box on the right of the screen so
that they match the settings shown to the right. Also click the button “More
Data”.

If the simulation above doesn’t work for you try this one:
https://phet.colorado.edu/sims/html/collision-lab/latest/collision-lab_all.html
choose the Intro Lab and click Values to show the information you need.

2. Run the simulation by clicking on the button for Play. Notice that you
can adjust the initial conditions of the two balls. Also notice that you can
slow down the collision by adjusting the time lapse slider. Try a few different scenarios.

3. Using the table below, record 6 different scenario collisions. Be sure to include trials where
spheres 1 and 2 have the same mass, where 1 and 2 have different masses, where 1 and 2 are
heading in the same direction, and where 1 and 2 are heading in the opposite direction. Note that
in the table, P of 1 stands for momentum of sphere 1, and P of B stands for momentum of sphere 2.

Table 1 (20 points)

Mass of 1 Mass of 2 Initial
Velocity of 1

Initial
Velocity of 2

P of 1
before the
collision

P of 2
before the
collision

P of 1 after
the collision

P of 2 after
the collision

1 0.50 1.50 1.00 0.00 0.50 0.00 -0.25 0.75

2

3

4

5

6

4. Now change the settings so that the elasticity slider is set to 0. Repeat the simulation for the
data you took above using the same values for mass and initial velocities. Fill in the table
below:

Table 2 ( 24 points)

Mass of 1 Mass of 2 Initial
Velocity of 1

Initial
Velocity of 2

P of 1
before the
collision

P of 2
before the
collision

P of 1 after
the collision

P of 2 after
the collision

1

2

3

4

5

6

Analysis: For the data taken in each set, fill out the tables below

Table 3 (6 points)

Elasticity = 100%

Total Momentum
before the collision

Total Momentum after the
collision

1

2

3

4

5

6

Table 4 (6 points)

Elasticity = 0%

Total Momentum
before the collision

Total Momentum after the
collision

1

2

3

4

5

6

Summarize in a few sentences what you can conclude from your data. (5 points)

Watch this video: Momentum and Types of Collisions in Physics. Explain each type of collision
and what you learned about each type. (15 points)

Bullet Block Videos – Watch the videos below.

Bullet Block Experiment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWVZ6APXM4w
Bullet Block Experiment Result https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8HrMZB6_dU
Bullet Block Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLYoyLcdGPc

What was the question the experiment was asking? (4 points)

What was the result? (5 points)

What was the two part explanation for why this happened? (10 points)

What did you learn from this lab? What most surprised you? (5 points)

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