# Unlocking the Secrets of Conservation of Energy and Momentum

## What velocity does the other glider have?

(a) - 0.300 m/s

## Is the total kinetic energy of the two gliders after the collision greater than, less than, or equal to the total kinetic energy before the collision? If greater, where did the extra energy come from? If less, where did the "lost" energy go?

(b) The total kinetic energy will be greater after the collision because of the force from the spring that has separated them.

## Answer:

(a) The other glider has a velocity of -0.300 m/s.

(b) The total kinetic energy will be greater after the collision because of the force from the spring that has separated them.

Have you ever wondered about the intricate dance of energy and momentum that occurs in the world around us? In a fascinating lab experiment involving two identical gliders on an air track, we can witness the principles of conservation of energy and momentum in action.

As the gliders move to the right at a common speed of 0.500 m/s, a student lights a match under the string holding them together. The spring force then propels one glider to the right at 1.300 m/s. But what about the other glider?

Through the conservation of momentum, we can calculate that the velocity of the other glider is -0.300 m/s, moving in the opposite direction. This demonstrates the precise balance of momentum in this system.

Moreover, the total kinetic energy of the two gliders after the collision is greater than before. This is due to the additional energy generated by the force of the spring that separates the gliders. The extra energy comes from the potential energy stored in the spring, illustrating the transformation of energy in this dynamic process.

Thus, this experiment not only showcases the fundamental principles of physics but also invites us to ponder the interconnectedness of energy and momentum in the universe. It reminds us of the beauty of scientific exploration and the enduring mysteries waiting to be unraveled.