Objective: Investigate elastic and inelastic collisions between two objects on a plane
In any collision between two bodies, the colliding objects must obey the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum. With the help of these two conserved quantities it is possible to describe how the bodies will behave after the collision. In the case of a flat plane, the velocity and momentum need to be expressed as vectors. A particularly simple description can be obtained by switching to a system which focuses on the mutual centre of gravity of the two bodies. In this experiment, two discs of specific mass are allowed to collide on an air cushion table and the velocities are then recorded with the aid of a spark generator.
1 Ruler, 50 cm