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Inelastic Relativistic Collision
A particle of mass
m
, moving at speed
v
= 4
c
/5, collides inelastically with a similar
particle at rest.
(a) What is the speed
v
C
of the composite particle?
(b) What is its mass
m
C
?
Solution by Michael Gottlieb:
(
I choose units for which
c =
1.)
Call the moving particle ‘M’, and the particle at rest ‘R’. (The composite particle is
defined to be ‘C’.)
The momentum and energy of the particle at rest are
RR
0
p
Em
=
=
.
The momentum of the moving particle is
M
22
45
4
3
1
4
1
5
mv
pm
v
==
=
−
⎛⎞
−
⎜⎟
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This note was uploaded on 10/30/2010 for the course MP 200 taught by Professor Guna during the Fall '10 term at Duke.
 Fall '10
 Guna

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