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I'm having some problem solving this problem: Consider a 3 body elastic collision; 3 bodies on 1 axe; both have known initial velocity≠0 and mass≠0, Particle 2 is between of 1 and 3 so that v1>0 and (v2 >0 or v2<0) and v3<0.

Now, can I calculate the final velocity of all particles without assumptions??

Energy and momentum conservation only gives 2 equations for 3 variables.

However, if one make an assumption(like final velocity of 1 is equal final velocity of 2), one can solve it. This leads to my second question: assuming mass of 2 >> mass 1 and mass 2>> mass 3, can you suggest one assumption physically plausible in a way that final velocity of 2≠0 ? (particles have no special configuration, like rectangles or circles)

I was thinking of having some fraction of final velocity of 1 as final velocity of 2, but I'm not sure if it is plausible nor what fraction should i use use...xD

Thanks in advance,

Littlepig

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# 3 Body Collision

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