The study of conservation of angular momentum during collisions is easy and fast using this system based on the Rotary Motion Sensor. The angular velocity of the spinning disk is graphed in real-time as a non-rotating ring is dropped onto it.
PASCO Advantage: It is easy to measure the rotational speeds just before and after the collision since the entire collision is visible in the graph.
The rotational inertias of the ring and disk are calculated using the mass and dimensions of each. Then the total angular momentum before the collision is compared to the total angular momentum after the collision to show that it does not change.
The total kinetic energy before and after the collision is calculated to show the amount of energy lost during the inelastic collision.