Objective: Investigate uni-dimensional collisions on an air track
One important consequence of Newton’s third law is the conservation of momentum in collisions between two bodies. One way of verifying this is to investigate collisions between two sliders on an air track. When all of the kinetic energy is conserved, we speak of elastic collisions. In cases where kinetic energy is only conserved for the common centre of gravity of the two bodies, we use the term inelastic collisions. In this experiment, the individual velocities of the sliders are determined from the times that photoelectric light barriers are interrupted and the momentum values are calculated from these speeds.