Lab
Ballistic Pendulum
Printer Friendly Version
In this experiment we will use a ballistic pendulum to determine the initial horizontal launch velocity of a plastic, foam dart. The first method will use conservation of momentum and conservation of energy while the second method will employ horizontal projectile motion.
In the first part of the experiment you will fire the foam dart from the dart gun so that it's suction cup allows it to stick to the side of the wooden pendulum resulting in the pendulum and its attached dart swinging back and forth. The initialy inelastic collision only conserves momentum while the pendulum's subsequent swing conserves mechanical energy.
In the second part of the experiment you will carefully discharge the dart gun to release the foam dart as a horizontal projectile.
You might need to use a level provided to insure that the gun's barrel is horizontal before firing. By measuring the dart's range and height of release you will be able to calculate the ball's flight time and its muzzle velocity.
Finally, you will be asked to calculate a percent difference between the two values for the dart's release velocity.
Part I: Pendulum Measurements
Carefully level the pendulum's rectangular bob and record the equilibrium position of the straw pointer. Standing close to the pendulum, aim and fire the dart gun so that the dart will strike the middle of the wooden bob. As shown in the picture below, measure and record the amplitude of the straw as it makes it initial swing. You will fire the dart a total of three times, each time recording the amplitude of the pendulum's vibration.
Step 1: Angle data and calculations
amplitude
trial
(cm)
1
2
3
What was your pendulum's average amplitude? Record your value in cm.
What was the value of H, the distance from the floor to the suspension points for the strings on the metal supports. Record this value in cm.
What is your pendulum's average angular displacement? Report your answer in degrees.
Measure and record the value of y, the distance from the floor to the center of mass of the pendulum's wooden bob. Record this value in cm.
What is the actual length of your pendulum? Record your value in cm.
Using your pendulum's actual length and its average angular displacement, determine its average vertical displacement. Record your answer in cm.
Step 2: Mass data, energy and momentum calculations
Find out from your instructor the mass of the pendulum's wooden block. Report your answer in grams.
Measure the mass of the foam dart. Report your answer in grams.
Calculate the potential energy, in joules, of the pendulum bob and dart when they reached maximum amplitude. Remember to show your calculations on your lab sheet.
Using conservation of energy, calculate the velocity, in m/sec, of the pendulum bob and dart immediately after the collision. Remember to show your calculations on your lab sheet.
Use conservation of momentum to determine the initial horizontal velocity of the dart when first released from the dart gun. Remember to show your calculations on your lab sheet.
Part II: Projectile Measurements
Carefully level the air gun on the top of a lab table. Test fire it and note where the foam dart strikes the floor and then place a meter stick near the anticipated point of contact. Measure the distance of the end of the gun's muzzle from the edge of the table and use a plumb line to record the location of the edge of the table on the floor. After firing the gun three times, measure and record each of the dart's impact positions. Note that each floor tile measures 12 inches and that there are 2.54 cm to one inch. Remember to always make sure that the gun is level before each firing. Record your answers in the chart below.
range
trial
(cm)
1
2
3
What your dart's average range? Record you answer in cm.
How high was the air gun's muzzle above the floor? Record you result in cm.
How much time did each of the darts fired form the table spend in the air? Record your answer in seconds. Remember to show your calculations on your lab sheet.
What is the average velocity of the air dart when shot from your air gun? Remember to show your calculations on your lab sheet.
Part III: Percent Difference
What is the percent difference between your two values for the air dart's velocity?
Which value do you feel was the most accuracte?
pendulum value
projectile value
Support your choice.
Related Documents
Lab:
Labs -
A Battering Ram
Labs -
A Photoelectric Effect Analogy
Labs -
Air Track Collisions
Labs -
Ballistic Pendulum: Muzzle Velocity
Labs -
Bouncing Steel Spheres
Labs -
Collision Pendulum: Muzzle Velocity
Labs -
Conservation of Energy and Vertical Circles
Labs -
Conservation of Momentum
Labs -
Conservation of Momentum in Two-Dimensions
Labs -
Impulse
Labs -
Inelastic Collision - Velocity of a Softball
Labs -
Loop-the-Loop
Labs -
Ramps: Sliding vs Rolling
Labs -
Roller Coaster, Projectile Motion, and Energy
Labs -
Rotational Inertia
Labs -
Rube Goldberg Challenge
Labs -
Spring Carts
Labs -
Target Lab: Ball Bearing Rolling Down an Inclined Plane
Labs -
Video Lab: Blow Dart Collides with a Stationary Cart
Labs -
Video LAB: Circular Motion
Labs -
Video Lab: M&M Colliding with Pop Can
Labs -
Video Lab: Marble Collides with Ballistic Pendulum
Resource Lesson:
RL -
A Further Look at Impulse
RL -
APC: Work Notation
RL -
Conservation of Energy and Springs
RL -
Energy Conservation in Simple Pendulums
RL -
Famous Discoveries: The Franck-Hertz Experiment
RL -
Linear Momentum
RL -
Mechanical Energy
RL -
Momentum and Energy
RL -
Potential Energy Functions
RL -
Principal of Least Action
RL -
Rotational Dynamics: Pivoting Rods
RL -
Rotational Kinetic Energy
RL -
Springs and Blocks
RL -
Symmetries in Physics
RL -
Tension Cases: Four Special Situations
RL -
Work
RL -
Work and Energy
Worksheet:
APP -
Puppy Love
APP -
The Jogger
APP -
The Pepsi Challenge
APP -
The Pet Rock
APP -
The Pool Game
APP -
The Raft
CP -
Conservation of Energy
CP -
Conservation of Momentum
CP -
Momentum
CP -
Momentum and Energy
CP -
Momentum and Kinetic Energy
CP -
Momentum Practice Problems
CP -
Momentum Systems and Conservation
CP -
Power Production
CP -
Satellites: Circular and Elliptical
CP -
Work and Energy
NT -
Cliffs
NT -
Elliptical Orbits
NT -
Escape Velocity
NT -
Gravitation #2
NT -
Ice Boat
NT -
Momentum
NT -
Ramps
NT -
Satellite Positions
WS -
Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #1
WS -
Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #2
WS -
Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #3
WS -
Energy Methods: More Practice with Projectiles
WS -
Energy Methods: Projectiles
WS -
Energy/Work Vocabulary
WS -
Force vs Displacement Graphs
WS -
Introduction to Springs
WS -
Kinematics Along With Work/Energy
WS -
Potential Energy Functions
WS -
Practice: Momentum and Energy #1
WS -
Practice: Momentum and Energy #2
WS -
Practice: Vertical Circular Motion
WS -
Rotational Kinetic Energy
WS -
Static Springs: The Basics
WS -
Work and Energy Practice: An Assortment of Situations
WS -
Work and Energy Practice: Forces at Angles
TB -
Work, Power, Kinetic Energy
PhysicsLAB
Copyright © 1997-2015
Catharine H. Colwell
All rights reserved.
Application Programmer
Mark Acton