Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Table hockey

The diagram at the right depicts two pucks on a nearly frictionless (horizontal) table. Puck I has a mass, m, and puck II has a mass 4m. Both pucks start from rest. At t = 0, they are both pushed with the same force F. That force is maintained on each puck for the same time, Δt.

A set of 8 graphs are shown below. For each of the 6 variables in the list below, select which of the graphs A-H (if it had the proper scale) could serve to display the variables for the two pucks. The curves are labeled with which puck they are supposed to describe. The graphs show times that are less than Δt. (That is, the pucks are pushed for the entire time of the graph.) If none of the graphs work, write N. Give a brief explanation for each answer.

  1. the momentum of the pucks
  2. the kinetic energy of the pucks
  3. the velocity of the pucks
  4. the acceleration of the pucks
  5. the displacement of the pucks
  6. the force felt by each puck

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Page last modified November 13, 2004: PE24