Featured in PASCO’s Advanced Physics Teacher Guide

Advanced Physics Teacher Guide


This manual features over 30 College Board curriculum and AP Physics exam inspired lab activities.

Conservation of Energy

Lab Summary

Use a photogate to measure the velocity of a cart as it passes along a flat track section from different starting positions. Then compare the cart’s initial potential energy to its kinetic energy.


A cart is released from rest and travels down an inclined track, continuing along a flat track with velocity v.

  • Students determine the relationship between different heights of the starting position of the cart (relative to the flat track) and the constant velocity of the cart in the flat track section.


Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Releasing a cart from several different heights on the inclined section of an inclined to flat track.
  • Measuring the velocity of a cart as it passes through a photogate in the flat track section from different starting positions.
  • Measuring different starting heights of a cart on an inclined track.
  • Plotting a graph of velocity versus Δh and determining its linearity.
  • Calculating v2, and then plotting a graph of v2 versus Δh and determining its linearity.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Digital Adapter


The Digital Adapter allows ScienceWorkshop analog sensors to be connected and used with PASPORT interfaces.

Curved PAStrack


Expand your PAStrack System with this curved track set. Create hills, valleys and inclines.



Connect two 0.5m length tracks and use with PAScars to study motion.

Base and Support Rod


The Large Base and Support Rod includes built-in leveling screws and an aluminum rod that is 12.7 mm (1/2 in.) in diameter and 45 cm long.

Cart Picket Fences (2 Pack) -- IDS


Replacement photogate fences that mount on Dynamics Carts.

PAScar (Set of 2)


A feature-rich dynamics cart for virtually friction-free motion on a dynamics track.

Track Rod Clamp


Fastens to the T-Slot of a Dynamics track and accepts a 1/2 inch rod.

Accessory Photogate


Includes a Photogate Head and Photogate Stand for flexible experiment design. The Photogate Stand is also sold separately.

Photogate Head


Monitors the motion of objects passing through its gate, counting events as the object breaks the infrared beam. For use with PASPORT and ScienceWorkshop Interfaces.

Photogate Brackets (2 Pack) -- IDS


The Photogate Bracket is designed to attach Photogate Head to PAStrack and Curved PAStrack.

Materials Used:

Meter stick

The Associated Bundle:

Advanced Physics Standard Sensor Bundle


This bundle contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Advanced Physics lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.