Impulse Experiment

Product Code: EX-5509B


In this experiment, the impulse on a cart is determined in two ways: by measuring the change in velocity and by finding the area under a Force vs. Time curve.

A Smart Cart runs down a slightly inclined track with its Force Sensor equipped with either a clay bumper, spring bumper, or magnetic bumper. The cart collides with the endstop. To determine the change in momentum (impulse), the velocities before and after the collision are recorded using the Smart Cart’s encoder. To confirm the impulse, the force vs. time is plotted and the impulse is determined by finding the area under the curve.

PASCO Advantage: Since the PASCO Smart Cart is capable of measuring both force and velocity, it eliminates the need for any external sensor. No interface is required. No wires interfere with the motion because the Smart Cart transmits the data over Bluetooth 4.0.


  • Designed for use with the Smart Cart


  • Impulse: change in momentum
  • Impulse: area under a Force vs. Time curve
  • Different shaped force curves for elastic and inelastic collisions

What’s Included

Software Required

This product requires PASCO software for data collection and analysis. We recommend the following option(s). For more information on which is right for your classroom, see our Software Comparison: SPARKvue vs. Capstone »

Interface Required

This product requires a PASCO Interface to connect to your computer or device. We recommend the following option(s). For a breakdown of features, capabilities, and additional options, see our Interface Comparison Guide »


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