Conservation of Linear Momentum and Energy

Elastic and Inelastic Collision Model

[M | t+ | ★★★]
Two cars model the difference between elastic and inelastic collisions as they smash against a wall

[In-Depth Description]

Amorphous Metal

[s | T+ | ★★★★]
Compare and contrast a steel ball bearing bouncing on a stainless steel plate and on an amorphous metal plate—a remarkable difference!

Elastic and Inelastic Collisions

[L | t+ | —]
Gliders on airtrack; pucks on air table.

Reactionary Roadbed

[L | t+ | ★★]
Radio controlled car moves one way while road moves the other.

[In-Depth Description]

Pendulum and Nose

[L | t+ | ★★★]
Faith in the conservation of energy is tested by taking the demonstrator's nose to task.

[In-Depth Description]


[M | t+ | ★★★]
A toy car rolling down a loop-the-loop track demonstrates the minimum height it must start at to successfully negotiate the loop. Can also be performed with small pendulum

[In-Depth Description]

Bow and Arrow

[L | t++ | ★★★★]
Use conservation of energy to predict the height the arrow will reach.

[In-Depth Description]

Bungee Jumping Barney

[L | t++ | ★★★]
Calculate the height from which Barney must jump so that his head just barely kisses the floor at the bottom of his bungee cord jump. Then verify by experiment.

[In-Depth Description]

Egg Psych-Out

[L | t++ | —]
More physics in your face with a heavy mass and spring over a carton of eggs (or your face).

Newton's Cradle

[S | t | ★★]
Conservation of momentum in elastic collisions between suspended spheres.

[In-Depth Description]

Bouncing Collision

[M | t | —]
A tennis ball/basketball combination is dropped to the floor ... the tennis ball theoretically bounces to nine times the original drop height.

[In-Depth Description]

Special Bouncing Collisions

[M | t | —]
Same as previous except that mass ratio of balls is 1:3 (softball:basketball) leaving basketball dead and softball four times the height.

[In-Depth Description]

Bottle Game

[M | t | —]
Try to knock the bottle over on the return swing!

Happy and Unhappy Balls

[M | t | ★★★]
An amusing example of elastic and inelastic collisions. Also a momentum change / impulse puzzler.

[In-Depth Description]

Pool Table

[L | t++ | ★★★]
Requiring little or no skill and the aid of a carpenter's square, one shot sinks two balls into the pockets.

[In-Depth Description]

Crashing Pendulum

[M/L | t/t+ | —]
A pendulum is allowed to "crash" into a bar, dramatically altering its motion, but energy is conserved as is evidenced by the return swing.

[In-Depth Description]

Mass and Spring

[M | t | —]
Potential and kinetic energy tradeoffs exhibited by a bouncing mass on the end of a spring.

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