Purpose:Determine the speed of an air gun pellet using conservation of momentum in an inelastic collision.
Description:The pellet is shot into a receptacle mounted on an air track glider. Conservation of momentum in the ensuing totally inelastic collision allows determination of the velocity v with which the pellet was shot: v = [(M+m)/m] V, where m is the mass of the pellet, M is the mass of the glider/receptacle, and V is the measured velocity with which the glider leaves the collision. The speed of the glider is determined using a photocell gate timer. Compare this result with the result from the standard ballistic pendulum demonstration using the air gun pellet, Demonstration C7-51.
Pump the gun once only. Be familiar with the safety mechanism, and know where the pellet exits the gun before firing.