Air Track Collisions Lab

Interactive courseware module that addresses one-dimensional collisions using a virtual air track model.
ダウンロード: 159
更新 2023/2/6

Air Track Collisions Lab

View on File Exchange or Open in MATLAB Online

MATLAB Versions Tested

Curriculum Module

Created with R2021a. Compatible with R2021a and later releases.


This curriculum module contains interactive MATLAB® live scripts that explore one-dimensional collisions using a virtual air track. The air track can be configured to model elastic or inelastic collisions.



You can use these live scripts as demonstrations in lectures, class activities, or interactive assignments outside class. This module covers elastic and inelastic collisions. It also includes examples of energy conservation. The live scripts contain instructions for conducting experiments using the virtual air track. The instructions include theory, pre-lab, virtual experiment, and data analysis sections. The law of conservation of momentum is studied by simulating elastic and inelastic collisions. The law of conservation of energy is studied by attaching a hanging mass to one of the carts.

The instructions inside the live scripts will guide you through the exercises and activities. Get started with each live script by running it one section at a time. To stop running the script or a section midway (for example, when an animation is in progress), use the image_1.png Stop button in the RUN section of the Live Editor tab in the MATLAB Toolstrip.

Contact Us

Solutions are available upon instructor request. Contact the MathWorks teaching resources team if you would like to request solutions, provide feedback, or if you have a question.


This module assumes knowledge of foundational physics principles and classical mechanics.

Getting Started

Accessing the Module

On MATLAB Online:

Use the image_2.png link to download the module. You will be prompted to log in or create a MathWorks account. The project will be loaded, and you will see an app with several navigation options to get you started.

On Desktop:

Download or clone this repository. Open MATLAB, navigate to the folder containing these scripts and double-click on Air_Track_Lab.prj. It will add the appropriate files to your MATLAB path and open an app that asks you where you would like to start.

Ensure you have all the required products (listed below) installed. If you need to include a product, add it using the Add-On Explorer. To install an add-on, go to the Home tab and select image_3.png Add-Ons > Get Add-Ons.


  • Simulink®
  • Simscape™


If you are viewing this in a version of MATLAB prior to R2023b, you can view the learning outcomes for each script here.


In this script, students will...
image_4.png - Learn about the theorical background of collisions.


In this script, students will...
image_5.png - Learn about the virtual lab setup.
- Perform introductory calculations.


In this script, students will...
image_6.png - Run simulations with the virtual lab.


In this script, students will...
image_7.png - Conduct experiment with elastic collision.
- Perform measurements.
- Calculatate velocities before and after collision.


In this script, students will...
image_8.png - Conduct experiment with inelastic collision.
- Perform measurements.
- Calculatate velocities before and after collision.


In this script, students will...
image_9.png - Compute momentum and energy from experimental observations.
- Assess conservation of momentum.
- Assess convervation of energy.

Related Courseware Modules

Virtual Measurement of the Electron to Mass ratio

Available on:
image_10.png image_11.png

Or feel free to explore our other modular courseware content.

Educator Resources


Looking for more? Find an issue? Have a suggestion? Please contact the MathWorks teaching resources team. If you want to contribute directly to this project, you can find information about how to do so in the page on GitHub.

© Copyright 2023 The MathWorks™, Inc


Emma Smith Zbarsky (2024). Air Track Collisions Lab (, GitHub. 取得済み .

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作成: R2021a
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この GitHub アドオンでの問題を表示または報告するには、GitHub リポジトリにアクセスしてください。