A crash barrier lab/experiment was done recently. A cart was dropped from 20cm above and 120cm away from a barrier made out of paper.

70 viewed last edited 4 years ago
Shubhanan Kulkarni
Before hitting the paper, the car went of the 120cm ramp and traveled another 50cm so in total 170cm. After the car hit the barrier the force exerted on the barrier was calculated. There were 45 trials done. Below is the data. After calculating the data. What could have 2 sources of error been that may have affected the data. (NO human error, only experimental error)
Mahesh Godavarti

Okay, I understand the experiment. I went to the following link to understand what this experiment is about.


Essentially, the car crashes into the barrier and the time taken for the car to a complete stop is used to calculate the car's acceleration and the resulting force the car is applying on the barrier.

This experiment assumes the following:

  1. The car does not break through the barrier
  2. There is no friction (i.e. without the barrier the car will continue to move indefinitely)
  3. The car does not change direction after hitting the barrier
  4. The car does not bounce off the barrier and roll over

So, if any of the above is true that is a source of error.

Mahesh Godavarti

Shubhanan, what is the weight? Is it the force measured? What's the time listed? Time taken for the car to travel 170cm or the time taken for car to break through the barrier?

Can you also paste the experimental design, if you can?

Shubhanan Kulkarni
sorry for the vague description. I got the answer fortunately, but it was the time taken for the car to stop after crashing into the barrier. The force exerted by the car in terms of acceleration.