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conservation of momentum

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If you have two pucks elastically collide on an air table, and then analyze the momentum vector diagram of the situation, you encounter an increase in momentum. What are possible reasons as to why there was a gain of momentum.

Note: Both pucks were pushed from the end of the table, and collided approximately in the middle.

I believe, depending on the force you exert on the two pucks, the puck with the greater force has caused the system to gain momentum.


If you have any other suggestions, or if you think my answer is incorrect please help and explain. I am a bit confused.

  • conservation of momentum -

    Something must be wrong with your measurements. On a frictionless air table, the TOTAL momentum of the two pucks stays the same in any collision, elastic or not. What was initally the faster travelling puck will end up slower after the collision; the other will end up faster.

  • conservation of momentum -

    However there was a gain of momentum in the experiment, so what would that mean, that i put too much force on the pucks?

  • conservation of momentum -

    It would mean that your measurements or your calculationbs were not accurate

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