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MAKE 2 COPIES OF COVER PAGE

PHYSICS 23 LABORATORY

E5: CONSERVATION OF ANGULAR MOMENTUM

Spring 07
NAME: DATE:

Partner’s Name:

Laboratory Instructor: Laboratory Section:

Recitation Instructor: Recitation Section:

You will be submitting this laboratory report electronically using BlackBoard. However, you will PRINT a cover
page for each member of your team. Your laboratory instructor will show you how to submit the report
electronically. The cover page with grade will be returned to you, as usual, by your recitation instructor. Your report
with comments will be returned to you by email.

OBJECTIVES:
1. Use rotational collisions to study the conservation of angular momentum when two rotating disks
interact.

Reading:
Introduction: What is required in order for angular momentum to be conserved?.

Apparatus: PASCO Rotational Dynamics Apparatus with DataStudio. GIVEN:


Moment of Inertia of Aluminum Disk = IAL = 0.00375 kg-m2
Moment of Inertia of Stainless Steel Disk = ISS = 0.0107 kg-m2
BOTH SS Disks have the same moment of inertia.

Procedure: Make sure the air supply is on to your apparatus. NEVER rotate the apparatus
without air, as this will damage the air bearing. Make sure the bottom disk is oriented so that the
bearing side is down and a gap appears next to the axle on the top side of the disk:

DISK

Set up DATA STUDIO to use the rotational dynamics apparatus. Attach a table and a graph to
plot the angular velocity. Do this for both the upper and lower disks on the same plot. The upper
disk is the one with the yellow tape on the plug. Set rate to 2 samples per second. As we want
both disks to rotate, make sure the pinch cock at the side is closed. With only the two disks, put
the “pin” with the black handle down the center of the upper disk. When this pin is in place, there
is an air bearing between the upper and lower disks, as well as between the lower disk and the
apparatus base. Removing the pin with a quick motion, allows the upper disk to “collide” with
the lower disk by removing the air bearing between them.
Perform at least three different collision experiments and describe what you did. There is a
stainless steel disk which can be used as the top disk, instead of the aluminum disk. This allows
you to change the mass of one of the colliding disks. Record the initial and final angular
velocities and other information needed to calculate the moments of inertia of the disks.

Measurements: (The table is an active EXCEL Worksheet). You can do your calculations
in it.) You will need to enter calculations into table except for the conversion of omega from degress/s to r/s.
RUN #1: Describe your collision and be sure to indicate the sign of ωINITIAL and ωFINAL
Moment of I ωINITIAL ωFINAL ωI rad/s ωF rad/s LINITIAL LFINAL LF - LI
Upper Disk 0 0
Lower Disk 0 0
TOTAL

K INITIAL K FINAL KF - KI
Upper Disk
Lower Disk
TOTAL

RUN #2: Describe your collision and be sure to indicate the sign of ωINITIAL and ωFINAL
Moment of I ωINITIAL ω FINAL ωI rad/s ωF rad/s LINITIAL LFINAL LF - LI
Upper Disk 0 0
Lower Disk 0 0
TOTAL

KINITIAL KFINAL KF - KI
Upper Disk
Lower Disk
TOTAL
RUN #3: Describe your collision and be sure to indicate the sign of ωINITIAL and ωFINAL
Moment of I ωINITIAL ωFINAL ωI rad/s ωF rad/s LINITIAL LFINAL LF - LI
Upper Disk 0 0
Lower Disk 0 0
TOTAL

K INITIAL K FINAL KF - K I
Upper Disk
Lower Disk
TOTAL

Analysis:
Use the tables above to calculate whether angular momentum was conserved and whether
rotational kinetic energy was conserved for each of the three collisions you measured.

Conclusions: For each of your collisions, was angular momentum and rotation kinetic energy
conserved?