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Key Experiment Crumple Zone Collisions

KEPS24: This experiment analyses the motion of a cart down a ramp and the forces of impact under different conditions.

Curriculum Topics
Physics: Linear motion and force
Physics: Force and momentum in collisions
Physics: Gravity and motion

During collisions the force of impact and the time for the interaction is related to the change in momentum. The momentum is controlled by the mass of the cart and the velocity at the bottom of the ramp before collision. The force of impact can be changed by changing the time taken for the interaction to occur.

In this experiment, you will:
1. Measure the velocity and hence find momentum of a cart at the bottom of a ramp
2. Measure the force and the time taken for the collision interaction to occur.
3. Relate the force and time taken for the interaction to the change in momentum of the cart.

Ideas for Extended Investigations
1. Investigate acceleration down a ramp under different conditions such as: ramp angle, mass of cart, friction on surface or starting height.
2. Investigate the force of impact of a cart with a fixed end under different conditions such as: ramp angle, mass of cart, and friction on surface or starting height.
3. Investigate the force of impact of cart colliding with different crumple zone materials
4. Design and test a crumple zone to limit the impact force of a collision to below a “threshold” level

Tech tips using the Dual Range Force sensor View >>>>
Tech tips using the Motion Detector View >>>>

Last edited 22nd Aug 2018

This product is used in teaching these Australian Curriculum codes:
ACSSU190 - Physical Sciences - Energy Conservation - Energy conservation in a system can be explained by describing energy transfers and transformations
ACSSU229 - Physical Sciences - Forces and Motion - The motion of objects can be described and predicted using the laws of physics
ACSSU117 - Physical Sciences - Forces and Machines - Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces, including Earth’s gravitational attraction, acting on the object
Click a curriculum code to see other products that relate.

Essential items - The following items are required:
LABQ2Vernier LabQuest 2 Data Logger and Interfacefrom $835.00 plus GST
MF0945-001IEC Collision Trolley Dynamics Cart - Pairfrom $127.00 plus GST
MD-BTDVernier Motion Detectorfrom $216.00 plus GST
DFS-BTAVernier Dual-Range Force Sensorfrom $265.00 plus GST

Optional items - The following items are optional:
LQ-MINIVernier LabQuest Mini Data Logger Interfacefrom $410.00 plus GST
LPVernier Logger Pro 3 Data Logging Softwarefrom $605.00 plus GST
MF4300-001IEC Weight Set of 9 Brass Slotted 50gfrom $57.70 plus GST
DTSVernier Dynamics Cart and Track Systemfrom $716.00 plus GST
DTS-ECVernier Dynamics Cart and Track System with Motion Encoderfrom $1,080.00 plus GST
GDX-FORVernier Go Direct Force and Acceleration Sensorfrom $251.00 plus GST
LQ-STREAMVernier LabQuest Stream Wireless Data Loggerfrom $568.00 plus GST
GDX-MDVernier Go Direct Motion Detectorfrom $251.00 plus GST
GDX-CART-GVernier Go Direct Sensor Cart Greenfrom $428.00 plus GST
GDX-CART-YVernier Go Direct Sensor Cart Yellowfrom $428.00 plus GST

The following items are required but are not available from Scientrific:
1m inclined plane, Crumple materials

ExperimentCrumple Zone Collisions