Ballistic Pendulum

Product Code: ME-6830


This classic physics experiment combines the laws of Conservation of Momentum and Conservation of Energy to determine the muzzle velocity of the projectile. Only simple mass and distance measurements are required to make this determination.


  • Repeatable: The three velocity settings on the Projectile Launcher produce consistent velocities.
  • Accurate: The 0-80angle measurement scale resolves to 0.5o, leading to experimental results within 2.5% of predicted values.
  • Removable Pendulum: Remove the pendulum to determine its mass and center of mass, let it swing freely for rotational inertia calculations, or mount it backwards for elastic collision experiments.
  • Ball and Pendulum Masses: This set includes two, 50 g pendulum masses, as well as two steel and two plastic balls.
  • Projectile Launcher: Mount the Projectile Launcher on the other side of the base to give students access to its accessories.
  • Unique Angle Measurement: The PASCO Ballistic Pendulum pushes a low friction, low mass pointer to the highest point. It remains there, permitting an accurate measurement.

How It Works

A projectile is fired into a pendulum, causing it to rise. Using the projectile mass, the pendulum mass, and the rise in pendulum height, students can calculate the gravitational potential energy of the system. Since the potential energy is equal to the pendulum’s kinetic energy at the lowest point, students can calculate the speed of the pendulum at impact. Applying the Law of Conservation of Momentum, the projectile’s speed can easily be calculated.

What’s Included

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