Transfer of Momentum Transfer of momentum


Momentum is the product of the mass of a moving body, and its velocity (p=mv) Momentum can be transferred from one body to another.


  1. Ramp in 2 pieces ( hot wheels track works well)
  2. Balls the same size but of different mass.
  3. A wooden block ( small enough to move along the track without rubbing the sides.
  4. Meter stick


    1. Prop up one of the ramps so the ball can roll freely down the ramp.
    2. Place the second ramp so that it is agains the first ramp and is flat on the table.
    3. Place the block at the bottom of the sloped ramp.
    4. Measure the mass of each of the balls and record.
    5. Release one of the balls from the top of the ramp so it hits the block.
    6. Measure how far the ball moves the block.
    7. Repeat with the other balls making sure you release the ball from the same distance each time, and placing the block in the same place each time.
    8. Collect all the data and construct a mass-distance graph.

    1. What happened to the distance the block moved as the mass of the ball increased?
    2. Explain your answer to question#1 using the equation M1V1=M2V2
    3. The transfer of momentum and sports:
      What How could you improve your ability to hit a tennis ball?
    Why are offensive lineman so huge in football? Why is the transfer of momentum important in soccer?


    1. Change the elevation of the ramp and repeat the above procedure.
    2. Change the length of the ramp but keep the elevation the same.

    These pages were made through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) with support from the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI.

    Copyright © June 2001 by Mike Bradshaw