updated: March 2007

To see the *.doc lesson files properly, save them to disk and open them in MS Word.
Opening them inline in Internet Explorer messes up the images (and equations?).

Unit 2: Momentum and Energy

All moving objects have momentum and energy. These two quantities have the priceless property of being conserved. Examining these quantities gives us more tools to analyse how objects move and interact with other objects. This is fundamental to the study of collisions, gases, and astronomical phenomena.

Unit Objectives



Textbook pages & other resources


1. Momentum, Conservation of momentum
2.  Conservation of momentum in two dimensions
3. Perfectly elastic and inelastic collisions (special formulas) Collisions in more detail
4. Impulse  
5. Momentum "lab" omit?? based on time. or leave for end of course
6. Work
Review of kinetic and gravitational energy
Calculus of force and energy
7. Hooke's Law, Elastic Energy
Conservation of Energy
Extra:vertical springs (ppt)
8. Simple Harmonic Motion hints and solved problems
9. LAB: SHM - verifying the frequency equation,
(also see if freq. is a function of amplitude)
<change lab to a discovery lab>
Foucault's Pendulum:
Proof that the earth rotates
10. Review
11. Unit Test    

Unit Objectives

By the end of this unit the student will be able to:

  • solve collision problems using conservation of momentum, in 1 and 2 dimensions
  • define and use impulse in problems (impulse is a minor topic)
  • define elastic collision
  • determine the percent of kinetic energy lost in inelastic collisions
  • use special formulas for elastic collisions in one dimension
  • use Hooke’s law to find the spring constant
  • use kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy, elastic potential energy and the conservation of energy to solve problems (springs, oscillators, ...)
  • write the equations for x, v, and a for a simple harmonic oscillator
  • find the frequency and period of oscillators





Last updated: Mar 2007