Elastic Collisions

Elastic Collisions - same situation we can use the...

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Elastic Collisions A special category of collisions is called elastic collisions. Formally, an elastic condition is one in which kinetic energy is conserved. This may be difficult to grasp conceptually, so consider the following test: drop a ball from a certain height. If it hits the floor and returns to its original height, the collision between the ball and the floor is elastic. Otherwise it is inelastic. Collisions between pool balls are generally elastic; car crashes are generally inelastic. Why are these collisions special? We know with all collisions that momentum is conserved. If two particles collide we can use the following equation: m 1 v 1o + m 2 v 2o = m 1 v 1f + m 2 v 2f However, we also know that, because the collision is elastic, kinetic energy is conserved. For the
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Unformatted text preview: same situation we can use the following equation: m 1 v 1o 2 + m 2 v 2o 2 = m 1 v 1f 2 + m 2 v 2f 2 Again, we are usually given the masses and the initial velocities of the two colliding particles, so we are given m 1 , m 2 , v 1o and v 2o . If we use these equations together, we now have two equations and two unknowns: v 1f and v 2f . Such a situation is always soluble, and we can always find the final velocities of two particles in an elastic collision. This is a powerful use of both conservation laws we have seen so far--the two work wonderfully to predict the outcome of elastic collisions....
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2012 for the course PHY PHY2053 taught by Professor Davidjudd during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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