# 12.5 Tennis ball cannon lab

```Name: ___________________________________________ Period: __________ Date: ___________
Lab: Conservation of Momentum - Tennis Ball Cannon
Objective: In this experiment you will study an explosion. An explosive force from the tennis ball
cannon will shoot the tennis ball forward and you will observe the recoil movement of the cannon
backwards. You will take measurements based on the movement of the tennis ball and cannon to
calculate the momentum of each. Newton’s 2nd law of motion and conservation of momentum will be
examined.
Essential Skills: C3- Gather and organize information and data
Setup: The setup will consist of the following configuration and materials. Tape a piece of paper with
carbon paper over it to the wall. Attach a spark timer and tape to the front of the cannon.
Mass of cannon =
M=
kg
Mass of tennis ball =
m=
kg
Distance from floor to bottom of can =
H=
m
Distance ball fell (measure to bottom of ball) =
h=
m
Distance from front of cannon to wall =
d=
m
Time between 1st 2 dots from spark timer =
t2 =
s
Distance between 1st 2 dots from spark timer =
L2 =
m
Calculations:
1. Calculate the time of flight for the tennis ball using the distance the ball fell and g = 9.8 m/s2.
2. Calculate the speed of the tennis ball using the horizontal distance the ball traveled.
3. Using the spark timer calculate the recoil velocity of the cannon.
4. Calculate the momentum of the tennis ball.
5. Calculate the momentum of the cannon.
 smaller momentum 
 x 100 = % difference in momentum
6. Calculate 1 
larger
momentum


Analysis:
1. Explain how this lab shows conservation of momentum.
2. Examining the conditions of this experiment, discuss the factors that would affect conservation of
momentum.
```