Momentum and Inelastic Collisions

Objective:  In this experiment, you will observe a rolling marble on a stationary object (cup).

Set-up:   Your main set-up should be assembled as pictured below.  The marble will be rolled down the meter stick or ruler, using string and rubber bands to create “guardrails” to stop the marble from rolling off.   A door is cut in the cup to “capture” the marble as it hits the cup.  You can then measure the distance the cup travels as you adjust the height of the ramp, and the weight placed on top of the cup.

set up

*As you take data, remember that you should keep one variable constant.  For instance, change the height of the ramp but keep the weight on the cup 0.   Then keep the height constant but change the weight. 

Weight on Cup Height of Ramp Distance


1.  Describe what happens when you make the ramp taller.


2.  Describe what happens when you add weight to the cup


3. How does this experiment illustrate the Law of Conservation of Momentum.