Day 26: Building the Momentum Transfer Model

We're finally ready to figure out what happens when you give an object a little push! Since last time we looked into the area of the force-position graph, this time, since the force hardly acts over any distance, we could look at the area of the force-time graph. A bigger force would do more, and so would more time that the force was applied. So, what does the area of the force-time graph tell us? We think it has something to do with the initial velocity of the cart, or the final velocity of the cart, or something.

So, we were off into lab. There were lots of different approaches. Some groups changed what surface was on the force probe. Other groups tried different initial velocities of the car. One group was sure that the average velocity predicts the area of the force-time graph. 

It was messy and it was great. By the time we wrapped up to look at the data, only two or three groups really felt comfortable with their data. But everybody had thought so much about the problem that it made sense why that data was best and why their conclusion should be believed. We defined impulse and momentum and started using our new model