Calculating Impact Force and Distance Traveled in Two Car Collision

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In summary, the conversation discussed a problem involving two cars colliding, one moving towards the other with a velocity of either 30, 40, or 50 km/h. The second car was stationary until the collision occurred and the task was to calculate the distance traveled by the second car after the collision, taking into account friction between the car's wheels and the asphalt. The attempted solution involved using Newton's equations and considering momentum to find the final velocity of the second car after the collision. The path traveled by the car was also discussed, with the conclusion that without friction, the car would continue at a constant velocity.
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Pomar1
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Homework Statement



Two cars are in opposite to each other. First car is 1000kg, second car is 2000kg. First car moves towards the second one with a velocity of ( neglect friction between the car's wheels and the asphalt ):
a) 30 km/h
b) 40 km/h
c) 50 km/h
Second car stands still until the collision appears ( velocity = 0km/h ). Calculate the length of route traveled by the second car after the collision ( assume the friction coefficient between the car's wheelsand the asphalt as T = 0.5 ).
If needed simplify the calculations by assuming both cars can only move forward/backward and can not turn ( two points of mass in an inertial frame ).

Homework Equations



I think that pretty much only thing I need here is Newton's:
F = ma [ N = kg * m/s^2 ]
v = at -> a = v/t [ m/s * 1/s ]
Although there is other problem, described below.

The Attempt at a Solution



So I managed to calculate the force acting on the second car after an impact, simply by substituting them into:
F = ma [N] = m * v/t [ kg * m/s * 1/s ]
F30 = 1000 * 5.55 * 1/t^2
F40 = 1000 * 8.33 * 1/t^2
F50 = 1000 * 11.11 * 1/t^2

But how do I get the time for the equation? This bugs me, is there another equation for acceleration I can use there?

Also, when I calculate the forces, how do I actually calculate the path traveled by the car, when I have to include friction ( I believe without it, car would just go on and on, without stopping ).
 
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  • #2
Try thinking about the problem in terms of momentum. The second is going to accelerate, yes, but at the end of the collision it will arrive at its final velocity, and this is really the only thing that you care about.

And for the path, it will be the car starting at some velocity and then decelerating to a stop on the road. You're right -- without friction it would just keep this velocity and keep going.
 

Related to Calculating Impact Force and Distance Traveled in Two Car Collision

What is impact force?

Impact force is the force that is exerted when two objects collide with each other. It is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction.

How is impact force calculated?

Impact force can be calculated by multiplying the mass of the object by its acceleration during the collision. This can be represented by the formula F = m x a, where F is the impact force, m is the mass of the object, and a is the acceleration.

What factors affect impact force?

The impact force of a collision is affected by several factors, including the mass and speed of the objects, the angle and direction of the collision, and the surface materials and conditions of the objects.

What is the distance traveled in a two car collision?

The distance traveled in a two car collision can vary depending on the speed and mass of the vehicles, as well as the angle and direction of the collision. It can also be affected by external factors such as road conditions and other objects in the path of the collision.

How can impact force and distance traveled be used to improve vehicle safety?

By understanding the impact force and distance traveled in a collision, engineers and car manufacturers can design and implement safety features such as crumple zones and airbags to reduce the impact force and distance traveled in a car crash. This knowledge can also be used to improve road design and traffic regulations to help reduce the severity of collisions.

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