Senior Physics students traveled to the local curling rink to explore friction, momentum and collisions. Students were asked to design two different experiments to find the coefficient of friction between the curling rock and the ice (for both pebbled and swept ice). Another goal of the lab was to determine whether a collision between two curling rocks was an elastic collision.
To determine the coefficient of kinetic friction, students used the PASCO Wireless Motion Sensor to measure the initial velocity of the curling rock that was launched. Using the measured displacement and Kinematics equations, students calculated the acceleration of the curling rock, and the coefficient of kinetic friction between the rock and the ice.
Students used a similar setup to determine whether the collision between the curling rocks was elastic.
Using the PASCO Wireless Motion Sensor allowed for real-time accurate measurements in a chilly, fun lab (with all data collected within an hour).