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Ballistic Pendulum


Performing the Simulation:


A ballistic pendulum is a device for measuring a bullet's momentum, from which it is possible to calculate its velocity and kinetic energy. Ballistic pendulums have been largely rendered obsolete by modern chronographs, which allow direct measurement of the projectile velocity.


  1. First select the required environment.
  2. Click and drag the slider to select the mass of the block and mass of the bullet.
  3. Adjust the velocity of the bullet.
  4. Click the 'shoot' button to fire the bullet into the block. Now the block, along with the bullet is set into oscillation.
  5. Height of the pendulum is noticed from the simulator.
  6. By noticing the position of the tip of pointer, angle of oscillation is measured from the protractor scale given with the instrument.
  7. The length of the pendulum can be calculated as h=l-l*Cos—≤.
  8. Then the velocity of the block can be calculated as V=sqrt(2*g*h).
  9. Using the formula v=(1+M/m)*V, velocity of the bullet can be calculated.
  10. Click the 'show result'  button to obtain the velocity of the bullet.
  11. A worksheet is provided so that  you can enter the measurements and can obtain the results.


Cite this Simulator:

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