# 1N30.30 Frictionless-Collisions (Air Track)

Video examples: Elastic collision with same mass

Elastic collision with different masses

Elastic collision with same masses both moving

Elastic collision with different masses both moving

Inelastic collision with same masses

Inelastic collision with different masses

Inelastic collision with same masses both moving

Instructor’s video

Description: Using an Air track with air gliders, you can visually show what happens when two carts collide elastically (Spring side).
There are also carts equipped with Velcro to show what happens when two carts exhibit an inelastic collision.
This can be done with either same mass carts of different mass carts (there are three different size masses).
Photogates and timers can be setup to quantitatively analyze these collisions.

Equipment:

• Air track
• 2 Phototgates
• Assortment of Inelastic and elastic air carts
• Black cardboard pieces

Setup Procedure:

1. Setup the photogates unless the professor says otherwise.
2. Take out the various Elastic and Inelastic air carts.
3. When the air track is moved into the classroom, a slight height adjustment might be needed to level the track.
4. Plug in the air track table.
5. If the professor want’s to use the photogates, show how they operate.

Demonstration Procedure:

1. Turn on the air pump.
2. Select the two elastic carts of the same mass and place the black carboard into both of them (see picture). Align them so they both hit with the elastic part.
3. You may have one cart stationary and hit it with the other cart. Note the before and after effects of the collision.
4. You can repeat this with different variations, such as different speeds, moving both carts, or different mass carts.
5. Select the two inelastic carts and add the black cardboard into both of them.
6. Remove the elastic carts from the air track and replace with the inelastic carts. Align them so both hit with the inelastic part.
7. With one cart stationary, hit it with the other. Note the before and after effects of the collision.
8. You can repeat this with different variations, such as different speeds, moving both carts, or different mass carts.
9. When finished, remove the carts and turn off the air pump.

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