Elise Livingston                                                                    

Ballistic Pendulum Mini-Lab

Ballistic Pendulum Video


- What is the firing speed of the ballistic pendulum?

  • Effective mass of the catching mechanism: 116 g
  • Ball mass: 68.7 g
  • Δ height: 3.7 cm

Data Analysis:


Unit Conversions:


Conservation of Energy:


Conservation of Momentum:



In this lab, we concluded that, after measuring and using our knowledge of conservation of energy and momentum laws, the firing speed of the ballistic pendulum is approximately 2.2881 m/s. There is a margin of error with respect to the possibility of inaccurate/ inconsistent measurements or computing errors.

Further Experimentation:

We could conduct other experiments in order to test the accuracy of our conclusion. One possibility would be to set up a motion sensor mechanism next to the ballistic pendulum and to obtain accurate numerical data through graphs. It would be important to ensure that the conditions of the experiment are the same as the experiment conducted above. The ball and catching mechanism must be of the same mass, the pendulum itself must also be the same to prevent inconsistencies.