Objectives - Momentum and Collisions

The Minds On Physics program consists of 15 modules. Each module covers a different topic and consists of a varying number of assignments. Every assignment addresses one or two objectives. The objectives for the Momentum and Collisions module are listed below.

  • Assignment 1:
    • The student should be able to recognize the definition of momentum, the units of momentum and the vector nature of momentum.
    • The student should be able to identify the mathematical quantities which effect the momentum and be able to calculate momentum from mass and velocity.
  • Assignment 2:
    • The student should be able to define impulse, indicate its units and relate its significance to a collision.
    • The student should be able to calculate the impulse and relate its value to the momentum change in a collision.
  • Assignment 3:
    • The student should be able to identify the effect (or non-effect) of alterations in the time and the force upon other collision variables (such as velocity change, momentum change, and impulse).
    • The student should be able to identify the effect (or non-effect) of alterations in the mass and the velocity change upon other collision variables (such as force, momentum change, and impulse).
  • Assignment 4:
    • The student should be able to extend the law of action-reaction in order to compare the collision forces, impulses and the momentum changes of two colliding objects.
    • The student should be able to explain the meaning of the law of momentum conservation and to describe when the law does and does not apply to a collision.
  • Assignment 5:
    • The student should be able to determine a momentum change and a total system momentum and to state what momentum conservation means.
    • The student should be able to use momentum conservation to determine the final momentum or the initial momentum of an object involved in a collision.
  • Assignment 6:
    • The student should be able to analyze explosions using Newton's third law and momentum change and impulse principles, being able to predict the relative force, acceleration, impulse, and momentum changes of the interacting objects.
    • The student should be able to use momentum conservation principles to predict the post-explosion velocity of an object.
  • Assignment 7:
    • The student should be able to compute before- and after-collision momentum values for a system of objects and determine if momentum is conserved.
  • Assignment 8:
    • The student should be able to utilize the principle of momentum conservation to solve collision problems for an unknown pre- or post-collision velocity.
  • Assignment 9:
    • The student should be able to utilize the principle of momentum conservation to solve collision problems for an unknown pre- or post-collision velocity.
  • Assignment 10:
    • The student should be able to use the conservation of momentum principle to predict the effect of an increase in mass upon the final velocity of an object.