Conservation Of Momentum/Energy

Essay by 1600daveHigh School, 12th grade June 2005

download word file, 9 pages 5.0

Contains a collision experiment carried out between two colliding pool balls.

Also have video's that were analyised too (are rather large files)

images wont work but ill upload the actual file also.

Conservation of Momentum & Energy


To find whether momentum is conserved between two billiards balls of same mass colliding head on, with one being in a stationary position, & how different velocities and surfaces affect the conservation.


In all collisions (closed system), momentum is conserved, so long as no external forces are acting. Variables that shall be changed are the surfaces that the collision shall take place on (friction varies), the initial velocity of the ball, and the spin on the ball. Variables, which shall not be changed, will be the mass of the balls


Momentum & energy shall be mostly conserved, but some will be lost due to friction and air drag forces, as the system isn't closed.

Some energy will be lost through sound and heat transfer upon collision.


· Ruler (1m)

· 2 billiard balls of equal mass (0.26kg)

· Pool Cue

· Video Camera (with highest frame rate possible)

· Tripod

· Varying flat surfaces with different levels of friction, eg pool table, carpet, glass

· VideoPoint 2.0

· Microsoft Excel


1. Place the ruler on the level surface, and setup the camera on the tripod to be side on and at the same level as the collision, and also so that from 0 to 80cm can be viewed through the viewfinder.

2. Once this is setup, place one ball at the 0cm mark, and the other at the 50cm mark

3. Start the video camera recording and hit the 1st ball (white) at the 0cm mark with the pool cue dead on, with no spin applied to the ball,