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# Experiment No.

8 Veriﬁcation of conservation of angular momentum
Apparatus:
Rotating platform, projectile launcher, projectile collision accessory, photogate/pulley system, DataStudio software, PASCO interface, rubber band, white paper, carbon paper, time-of-ﬂight accessory, thread, meter stick, mass and hanger set and calipers.

Purpose of the experiment
(i) To determine the muzzle velocity of the Projectile using conservation of angular momentum and (ii) to verify the above result by using a projectile launcher.

Method I
Basic methodology
A projectile (ball) is shot into a catcher mounted on a revolving platform. The muzzle velocity of the ball is determined by using the fact that angular momentum is conserved during the collision.

1

Theory

A ball launched horizontally, embeds in the catcher mounted on a revolving platform. The platform then rotates to conserve the angular momentum during the collision. By principle of conservation of angular momentum, the angular momentum L (with respect to the center of the platform) before the collision is equal to the angular momentum after the collision: L = mb v0 R = I ω, where mb is the mass of the ball, v0 is the muzzle velocity of the ball (to be determined), R is the distance between the ball and the axis of rotation (see ﬁgure 1), I is the rotational inertia of the catcher, ball, and rotating platform after the collision and ω is the angular velocity of the system immediately after the collision. Solving for the muzzle

Figure 1: velocity of the ball gives: v0 = Iω . mb R 1

Level the base of the rotating platform as follows: (a) Make the apparatus unbalanced by attaching the 300 g square mass (see ﬁgure 4) onto either end of the aluminum track. Tighten the screw so the mass will not slide. By Newton’s second law. g I = mr2 ( − 1). Attach the ball catcher to the track using a rubber band as shown in Figure 3. where m is the hanging mass from the thread wrapped around the base of the apparatus. Therefore. Also. Figure 2: mg − T = ma or T = m(g − a). 2 . 4. a 2 Setup and Procedure to determine the angular velocity ω: 1. Find the mass of the ball and record it in the excel sheet. Now. where r is the radius of the step pulley about which the thread is wound (see ﬁgure 2) and T is the tension in the thread. a known torque τ is applied to the object and the resulting angular acceleration α is determined. since the linear acceleration a = rα. Clamp the Projectile Launcher to a sturdy table near one end of the table. τ = Iα = r T.To ﬁnd the rotational inertia experimentally. α can be determined by measuring a and r. 2. Figure 3: 3.

Attach the Photogate Head to the base. (d) The track is now leveled and it should remain at rest regardless of its orientation. Figure 5: 6. 9. 3 .Figure 4: (b) Adjust the leveling screw on one of the legs of the base until the end of the track with the square mass is aligned over the leveling screw on the other leg of the base (see ﬁgure 4). Set up the program so that it measures and displays angular speed. Connect the Photogate Head to a computer and run the DataStudio program (procedure is given at the end). 8. 11. Load the Launcher with the steel ball on the long range setting. 3 Setup and Procedure to determine the rotational inertia I and muzzle velocity v0 : 1. (c) Rotate the track 90 degrees so it is parallel to one side of the “A” and adjust the other leveling screw until the track will stay in this position. Put about 20 g (record the exact hanging mass) over the pulley. 5. Aim the launcher directly down the middle of the ball catcher using the sights inside the projectile launcher. Adjust the angle of the Projectile Launcher to zero degrees so the ball will be shot oﬀ horizontally. See Figure 5. 12. Record the angular speed of the platform and repeat for a total of ﬁve shots. 7. Measure the distance from the axis of rotation to the ball in the catcher. 10. Make sure the rotating platform is at rest and ﬁre the ball into the catcher.

4. Ch 3” and choose ”rad/s” in ”Unit of measure”. select only ”Angular velocity. 2. let us assume that the photogate connected to the projectile launcher goes to sensor 1. When the ball hits the accessory. I can thus be obtained from the slope of this straight line. Put the ball into the Projectile Launcher and cock it to the middle range position. asking you to add a sensor (it can have a maximum of 4 sensors).2. 7. Click on sensor 1 in the picture and choose ”photogate”. Click on sensor 2 in the picture and choose ”time of ﬂight”. 5. Measure the horizontal distance from beneath the point of projectile launch to the point where the projectile hits the accessory. Unselect all other options in the ”Measurements” tab. 5. the initial speed (muzzle velocity) of the ball is determined by shooting the ball horizontally oﬀ the table and measuring the horizontal distance x through which the ball travels and the time required for the ﬂight. 2 Setup and Procedure 1. 9. A picture of the ”Science Workshop 750” (SW750) will appear. Fire one shot to locate where the ball hits the table. 4 . Setup the projectile launcher as in method I. 4. 3. F 6. measure the diameter of the step pulley about which the thread is wrapped and calculate the radius r and record it. In the middle ”Measuements” tab. 4. Connect the time-of-ﬂight accessory (ME-6810) to the PASCO interface and set the program to measure the time-of-ﬂight (procedure is given at the end). 3. it will leave a mark on the white paper. 8. place the time-of-ﬂight accessory. Tape a piece of white paper to the accessory. Use the above ten trials to ﬁnd the average muzzle velocity and record it. Fire about ten shots. Therefore F 2(I + mr2 ) t2 F = h mgr2 and hence a plot of t2 versus h is a straight line. Method II 1 Theory For comparison. since a = (2h)/t2 . v0 . Using the DataStudio software 1. t. 6. Wind the thread up and hold the Rotating Platform. 2. 3. The linear acceleration a can be found by measuring the height h from which the weight is released and the time tF for the fall. the time-of-ﬂight accessory goes to sensor 2 and the photogate attached to the rotating platform goes to sensor 3. At this position. 6. Start the DataStudio programme and choose ”create experiment”. v0 = x/t (friction due to air is ignored). calculate the muzzle velocity of the ball and record it. Click on sensor 3 in the picture and choose ”smart pulley”. the rotational inertia and the distance r. Place a piece of carbon paper (carbon-side down) on top of this paper and tape it down. Using calipers. 5. Identify which photogate goes to which sensor. In the ”Measurements” tab unselect all options. For a ball shot horizontally oﬀ a table with an initial speed. Using the average angular speed. Let the Rotating Platform begin to turn and the mass descend toward the ﬂoor. For deﬁniteness.

Record the value of angular velocity associated with the ﬁrst data point. In the bottom left panel. Is total energy conserved during the collision in method I? 3. Choose ”time of ﬂight. 10. Click ”Start” and shoot the projectile. Exercises and viva questions 1. choose ”time of ﬂight. you should see a plot of angular velociy vs. To measure the time-of-ﬂight in the second part. choose ”Graph”. 8. After a few seconds. 9. click ”Start” on top and shoot the projectile into the catcher. the y-value associated with this data point. Ch 2”. A single data point will appear in the graph.7. Once your equipment is set. Is kinetic energy conserved during the collision in method I? 2. Record this value. You should now see a graph of Angular Velocity (rad/s) ready to be plotted against time. Is total linear momentum conserved during the collision in method I? References 5 . time. Ch 2(s)” in the top left panel and click ”Graph”. The time-of-ﬂight will be the ”elapsed time”.