Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite
Edward F. Redish
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In a classic lecture demonstration (see C2-11 at the University of Maryland demo site) two billiard balls are driven down parallel tracks by a spring gun. One ball travels along a flat track, the other along a track with a dip. The apparatus is shown in the figure below.
Below are shown 6 graphs and 10 physical quantities. Identify which of the graphs could match each physical quantity if the vertical axis were given the correct scale. The time t = 0 occurs just after the balls have been pushed by the spring. Choose the graphs that match each quantity a.-j. If none works, write N. Each graph may be chosen as many times as you like. You may assume friction can be neglected.
|a. The kinetic energy of ball A||f. The total energy of ball B|
|b. The potential energy of ball A||g. The velocity of ball A|
|c. The kinetic energy of ball B||h. The velocity of ball B|
|d. The potential energy of ball B||i. The position of ball A|
|e. The total energy of ball A||j. The position of ball B.|
Page last modified November 5, 2010: PE35