Computermntrolled collision and the force versus time curve.

Computer-controlled collisions between two pendulums are described for use as a laboratory experiment. A force transducer provides a detailed description of the collision in time. Collision experiments have long been an integral component of physics teaching laboratories (Sutton 1938, White and Manning 1954, Bernard 1972, McAlexander 1979). In most experiments, knowledge of the force as a function of time during the collision is lacking. We study the collision between two pendulums referred to as hammer and anvil. A Commodore-64C computer is used to control the experiment and to collect the data. A piezoelectric transducer attached to the anvil at the point of impact allows one to obtain the time evolution of the force of contact during collision. Such an experiment is suitable for university use, but the gifted school experimenter might benefit from it too. One may use this article to form the basis of a project experiment. It incorporates many application of fundamental physical concepts, and includes modelling and curve fitting.

Main Author: Krupitsch, A. V.
Other Authors: Wunderlich, F. J., Phares, A. J.
Language: English
Published: 1993
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