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An air rifle and the conservation of momentum

This animation shows a simulation of the experiment where a mounted air rifle is used to fire a pellet into a block of plasticene fixed onto a model railway truck on rails. The runway should be tilted to compensate for friction and the speed of the truck (V) after impact should be found by measuring the time it takes to move say 20cm from the point the pellet hits it.


Theory: Knowing the mass of a pellet (m) and the mass of the truck and plasticene (M) the speed of the pellet can be found by using the equation (mv + MV = 0).
 
 
 
© Keith Gibbs/John Bourne 2008