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ERIC Number: EJ860245
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Critical Thinking: Error Sources and Energy in a Conservation of Momentum Lab
Rosen, Robert D.
Physics Teacher, v46 n4 p235-236 Apr 2008
Our school has a very small budget for equipment. So finding a gem like a conservation of momentum lab requiring only basic materials ("TPT", October 2005) adds a great deal to my physics course. In this lab, a "shooter" nickel makes a non-head-on collision with a stationary "target" nickel. Students measure the distance each nickel slides after the collision and the angles shown in the diagram. The paper by James Hunt explains how these data can be used to verify conservation of momentum in the direction perpendicular to the shooter's initial velocity. This paper suggests some possible sources of error and explains how the angles can be used to study energy relationships in the collision.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A