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Math Help - Elastic collision

  1. #1
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    Elastic collision

    Hi I'm stuck on a problem with a elastic collision.

    wagon1 has the mass 1 kg and the velocity 3 m/s, collides with wagon which has the mass 2 kg and is standing still, what are the wagon's velocity after the collision?
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  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Momentum is conserved, so m_1v_1+m_2v_2=m_1v_{init}, where m_1 and m_2 are the masses, v_{init} is the initial velocity, and v_1 and v_2 are the final velocities. Since the collision is elastic, kinetic energy is also conserved, so \frac{1}{2}m_1v_1^2+\frac{1}{2}m_2v_2^2=\frac{1}{2  }m_1v_{init}^2.

    I think you can solve it from there. You should get v_1=-1 and v_2=2, so wagon 1 bounces and is coming back the other direction at 1 m/s, and wagon 2 moves at 2 m/s.

    - Hollywood
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