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ERIC Number: EJ1160680
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
A New Take on Exploding Carts
Broder, Darren; Burleigh, James; Christian, Matthew; Mowry, Shawn; Hassel, George E.
Physics Teacher, v55 n8 p475-479 Nov 2017
The Exploding Carts is a popular introductory physics activity in which a one-dimensional explosion is simulated utilizing two dynamics carts that are pushed apart by a spring-loaded plunger released from one of the carts. Traditional treatments of the Exploding Carts usually involve multiple trials where the mass of one or both of the carts is "increased," producing explosions with varying post-explosion speeds (the speed at the instant contact is lost between the carts). The subsequent analysis normally entails comparing post-explosion speeds within a given trial, which leads to the concept of momentum and its conservation. Though generally not emphasized in traditional treatments of the Exploding Carts, it is also an interesting endeavor (and the focus of this paper) to compare post-explosion speeds between "different" trials. Specifically, the post-explosion speed of a constant mass cart in various trials can be compared to the post-explosion speed of the equal mass explosion (no additional mass added to the carts) as the mass of the "other" cart is changed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A