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Collisions problem (How should I approach it)

by Hindi
Tags: collisions
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Dec13-03, 08:22 PM
P: 9
Hi all,

I came across a problem on collisions on one of my professors old exams. The problem is:

The way I am trying to approach it is by applying the conservation of linear momentum and energy, but the problem is that I still get left with 3 unknowns.

Here is what I know:
Before the collision, only block A has kinetic energy.

After the collision, the K.E. of system is (1/2 K.E. initial). block A has -1/2MV^2 and block B has 1/2MV^2.

The final collision is what confuses me. Should I just work with K.E.i (only block A moving) with conservation of linear momentum?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Dec13-03, 08:58 PM
P: 364
by cons of p,
where v_2f is reckoned as negative
By the energy conditions,
[tex]m_1v_{1i}^2=\frac {1}{2}(m_1v_{1f}^2+m_2v_{2f}^2)[/tex]
which gives two equations with two unknowns.
Dec13-03, 09:51 PM
P: 9
Thanks for the reply
StephenPrivitera. I am just wondering why you made m_2v_2f negative in the first equation?? Should it be the other way around?

Doc Al
Dec14-03, 10:39 AM
Doc Al's Avatar
P: 41,560
Collisions problem (How should I approach it)

The equations should be:
[tex]\frac {1}{4}m_1v_{1i}^2=\frac {1}{2}(m_1v_{1f}^2+m_2v_{2f}^2)[/tex]
(where the speeds are all positive)

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