Physics Questions

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Physics Questions

© All Rights Reserved

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1. Suppose the ball with half the mass is used and is projected out of the launcher with the same speed. How does

the increase in height of the system now compared with that when the original ball was used? Defend your answer.

Answer: (Reference System: Pendulum) If the half-weighed ball was used in this same-speed simulation, the

observable height will be much smaller than the observable height when the original ball was used.

Consider this scenario:

m1: 10 grams

m1/2: 5 grams

m2: 15 grams

v: 20 m/s

:

(1 + 2 )

2

1

2 1 2

:

(1 + 2 )2 (2)

Substitutions of the given to equation:

:

(20)2 (10)2

(15+10)2 (29.8)

(20)2 (5)2

(15+5)2 (29.8)

(Reference System: Launcher alone with the pendulum; assuming that air-resistance is negligible) If the half-weigh

ball used in this same-speed simulation, the observable height will be much larger than the observable height when

the original ball was used. The force of the ball will be relatively large compared to the force exerted by gravity on the

ball; hence, the height of the half-weighed ball will be much larger.

2. Suppose the launcher is positioned higher above the table top. How does this change affect the computed initial

speed of the ball? Defend your answer.

Answer: There will be no change in the initial speed; In Kinematics, the horizontal component of the velocity remains

constant while the vertical component of the velocity is the only component changing. When the height increases, the

range also increases, making the velocity constant as long as that the x-component range is not that deviated;

3. A 50-gram bullet is fired horizontally into a 5-kilogram block of wood suspended by a long cord. The bullet sticks in

the block. Determine the velocity of the bullet if the inelastic collision causes the block to swing 0.10-meters above its

initial level.

Given:

m1: 50 grams ~ 0.05 kilograms

m2: 5 kilograms

Unknown: velocity of the bullet

Working Equation:

:

(1 + 2 )

2

1

Substitution:

:

Answer:

Velocity of the bullet: 141.4 m/s

(0.05 + 5)

2 9.8 0.10

0.05

ANALYSIS

1. Which method (ballistic method or trajectory method) is more accurate in determining the initial speed of the ball?

Defend your answer.

Answer: Ballistic method; the farthest distance that the pendulum will swing is the point where its potential energy is

at its peak. Observing the conservation of mechanical energy (concept of the pendulum), the potential energy on the

maximum angle that the pendulum covered is also its kinetic energy after collision. Also using the law of conservation

of momentum, the velocity can then be extrapolated by using the following conditions.

2. In Part 1 of the experiment, is the total momentum of the system conserved? Explain.

Answer: Yes; by definition, the total momentum of the system is conserved if and only if the net external force on the

system is zero. Since there are no external force acting on the system, hence, total momentum is conserved.

3. In Part 1 of the experiment, when is the total energy of the system not conserved? When is the total energy of the

system conserved?

Answer: It is a fundamental law of physics that the total energy of the system must be conserved at all times. Within

the system, however, energy can transform into any other form of energy. Since the collision is inelastic, it follows

that the kinetic energy of the system is not conserved (some of the kinetic energy is converted into heat energy,

some were also converted to sound energy). Since the system also follows the principle of a pendulum, the potential

energy at the maximum angle is equivalent to its kinetic energy before collision.

CONCLUSION

1. What causes the total momentum of the system to change?

Answer: (Defining the total momentum and the conservation of the total momentum) The total momentum of the

system is the vector summation of individual momenta occurring in the system. It is a fundamental law of physics that

the total momentum of the system should always be conserved unless an external force is acting on the system.

External forces are responsible for the changes in the momentum of the system.

2. When the total momentum of the system is conserved, is the total energy of the system conserved as well?

Answer: Yes; Fundamental laws of Physics states that momentum and the energy of the system should always be

conserved. However, in the system, energy can transform from one form to the other; in an inelastic collision, it

follows that the kinetic energy of the system is transformed into other forms energy, while in an elastic collision kinetic

energy of the system is always conserved;

3. Is the total momentum of the system conserved in all kinds of collisions? Explain.

Answer: Yes; In an elastic collision and inelastic collision, momentum and energy is always conserved; however, for

an inelastic collision the kinetic energy of the system is not conserved because the energy is transformed from one

form to the other (i.e. sound energy, heat energy, and energy expelled during the deformation process).

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