Impulse Lab
Author: Jacob Hoffner
Lab Partners: Zach Christoff and Alyssa Jordan
Date: January 2016
Lab Partners: Zach Christoff and Alyssa Jordan
Date: January 2016
Purpose
To interpret the relationship between the impulse and the change in momentum in a collision.
Theory
In a collision, there is a change in momentum, p. The change in momentum equals the initial momentum subtracted from the final momentum. To determine the momentum of an object, the mass of the object must be multiplied by the velocity of that object.
Another way to measure a collision is through an impulse, J. An impulse equals the Force applied by the object multiplied by the change in time. The change in time is the initial impact of a collision subtracted by the end time of the collision. Another way to measure impulse is to find the area under the curve of a Force vs. Time graph. In short time collisions, the average force may be used instead. In this lab, we will interpret how the change in momentum of an object in a collision shares a very close relationship to the impulse of the collision. In theory, these two values should equal each other. 

Experimental Technique
In this lab, we tested the impact of a collision through the use of different collision bumpers. We used a light spring, a magnet, clay, and a rubber stopper in our different runs. We did two runs per collision bumper, and each of those two runs had different object masses. The collision was measured using a foresensor and another sensor measured velocity. This information was plugged into DataStudio on the MacBook. Here, we can see the Velocity vs Time graph and the Force vs Time graph. Just like the theory says above, we took the area under the curve of the Force vs Time graph to find the Impulse of the collision. The initial and final velocities of the collision were recorded to later find the change in momentum. The change in momentum and impulse were later compared with each other.
Data
Below is the information found throughout the lab, including the calculated Impulse, Change in Momentum, and the Percent Difference between the Impulse and the Change in Momentum. Below the chart is are two example graphs, one of Velocity vs. Time and one of Force vs. Time.