Annabel Ellis


To investigate whether total momentum is conserved during a collision


- Two dynamic trolleys

- Electronic balance

- Metre ruler

- Ruler

- Several 1 kg masses to add to the trolleys

- Two rubber bands tied together that will stretch to 20cm quite easily

- Level bench top

- Piece of A4 paper

- Masking tape


  1. The piece of A4 paper was attached to the benchtop with masking tape. Two parallel lines were ruled, 20cm apart.

  2. The two trolleys were linked with the rubber bands.

  3. The trolleys were pulled apart and held with the front ends on the two lines

  4. The two trolleys were released.

  5. The trolleys accelerated towards each other and collided at the same time. the distance the trolleys travelled was proportionate to their relative velocities.

  6. The location at which the trolleys collided was determined, and was marked on the paper.

  7. The distance between the two lines and the collision point were measured

  8. Various masses were added to the trolleys and the experiment was repeated. approximately 5 different mass combination were tested.


Big image


When the two trolleys were released, they would have travelled towards each other for the same amount of time because their speed equals it out.

The magnitude of the forces acting on each trolley is the same because they have the same mass and velocity. The final momentum was 0 because the trolleys would not be moving. The initial momentum was also 0 because they weren't moving.


The experiment showed that total momentum before and after a collision is equal, but this may be incorrect as there was only one trial.