Measuring Force Pairs

We always do an experiment where we smash two carts (one “red” and one “blue”) together and measure the force they exert on each other. We try a few different situations and – lo and behold – FRedOnBlue is always equal and opposite to FBlueOnRed. But this year I wanted to try to expand the situations beyond just those two carts. (This was inspired by an activity in Eugenia’s PUM Dynamics module, btw.)

Here are students trying to simulate a car crashing into a “brick wall”. We’ll make this measurement, and check how FWallOnCar compares to FCarOnWall.

There were three of these in the packet I wrote, the two shown here, and “A truck smashed a bug while driving on the highway.” I wish I could turn students loose to play and test on their own, but it would truly be a madhouse…

##bfm ##physicsfirst ##pum