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Carolina® Introduction to Momentum and Collisions

$9.95 - $140.90

Grades 9–12. Investigate one of the fundamental laws of physics: conservation of momentum. Use the swinging spheres of Newton's cradle (included) as a pre-lab demonstration to explore class knowledge of conservation laws. Students conduct experiments to calculate the momentum of 2 bodies both before and after an elastic collision and determine if results are consistent with linear momentum conservation. Kit supports 8 student groups.


Grades 9–12. Critical thinking skills are required as students focus on linear momentum conservation of 2 bodies before and after a straight line collision, not angular momentum conservation where 2 bodies collide with a glancing blow.

To investigate the relationship among mass, velocity, and momentum, students will:

  • Predict the response of colliding steel spheres in Newton's cradle (included)
  • Calculate the momentum of a rolling steel sphere before its collision with a stationary steel sphere
  • Compare pre-collision momentum of the rolling steel sphere with the sum of momenta for the 2 spheres after the collision

Kit contains 8 sets of materials. The time required to complete this lab is approximately 55 min. Materials (except tape) may be used indefinitely. Replenish double-sided tape as needed.

Both easy to set up and easy to repeat, these activities provide an excellent opportunity to incorporate classroom data analysis technologies such as video and photogates. Encourage students to explore these methods to improve accuracy.

FREE 1-year access to digital resources that support NGSS instruction included.




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