Dynamics Activity
Ballistic Cart and Newton's First Law


BHS -> Staff -> Mr. Stanbrough -> Physics -> Mechanics -> Newton's Laws -> Newton's First Law -> this page


Demonstrate the "objects in motion" part of Newton's First Law


Ballistic car (shoots metal ball straight up)


You can also demonstrate this by tossing a paper wad into the air while walking.


If the cart is at rest, the ball comes back down into the "cannon" - it has no horizontal velocity before firing, so it has none after firing.

If the cart is moving, the ball is moving (horizontally) at the same velocity as the cart, and continues to move at this velocity even after it is fired - Newton's First Law.

last update January 6, 1997 by JL Stanbrough (Questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome at jerry_stanbrough@bhs.batesville.k12.in.us)