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Homework Help: Calculate final velocity of each cart after collision

  1. Apr 25, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Cart 1 has a mass of 1.5 kg and is moving on a track at 36.5 cm/s [E] toward cart 2. The mass of cart 2 is 5 kg, and it is moving toward cart 1 at 42.8 cm/s [W]. The carts collide. The collision is cushioned by a Hooke's law spring, making it an elastic head-on collision. Calculate the final velocity of each cart after collision.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I plugged all my values into the head-on elastic collision formulas and I got vi1=84cm/s but the answer in the book is 3.15cm/s. I am really sure I have the right answer. Is there a mistake in the book?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not liking any of the answers, yours or the book's (although yours looks somewhat better :smile: )

    Can you show your work in detail?
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  4. Apr 25, 2016 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Are you sure about the mass of cart 2?
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