Ballistic Pendulum Experiment

Product Code: EX-5511A


PASCO’s Rotary Motion Sensor is the heart of this modern approach to a classic physics experiment. The Mini Launcher (ME-6825B) fires a steel ball into the foam catcher of the Ballistic Pendulum Accessory (ME-6829) mounted on the Rotary Motion Sensor. The Rotary Motion Sensor measures the angular displacement of the pendulum and it is plotted in real-time in PASCO Capstone.

There is no need to catch the pendulum at its maximum height because the angle is continuously measured. Using the analysis tools in PASCO Capstone, students can find the maximum angle.

Using Conservation of Momentum and Conservation of Energy, students can determine the initial speed of the ball as it leaves the projectile launcher. The initial speed of the ball is confirmed by using two photogates to time the flight of the ball for a short distance.


  • Modern approach to a classic experiment
  • View graph of entire pendulum swing
  • Conservation of momentum
  • Conservation of energy


Ballistic Pendulum Experiment

What’s Included

Software Required

This product requires PASCO software for data collection and analysis. We recommend the following option(s).

Interface Required

This product requires a PASCO Interface to connect to your computer or device. We recommend the following option(s).

Manual Downloads

Product Manuals for the Included Products

Photogate Mounting Bracket Manual (ME-6821)
(38 KB – .pdf – English)
Photogate Head Manual (ME-9498A)
(275 KB – .pdf – English)
Rotary Motion Sensor Manual PS-2120A
(1.1 MB – .pdf – English)
Mini Launcher Manual (ME-6825A)
(797 KB – .pdf – English)
Experiment File
EX-5511 Ballistic
(19.6 MB – .zip – English)