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Cart Explosion- Is Energy conserved?

  1. Jan 11, 2009 #1
    So yes that's the question:

    In a cart explosions (where 2 carts with springs on the back are pushed together and let go) is the kinetic energy conserved? If not why?

    I can't find it in my textbook or on internet sites (things specifically related to cart explosions anyways)

    But attempting to answer this, I think it's conserved.. we just have no way of knowing what the initial potential energyof the springs are... ?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2009 #2


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    Is the question about conserving energy or about conserving kinetic energy?
    There are changes in KE involved (zero when the carts are stopped).
    No doubt there will be some little losses of energy in the spring, movements of the carts, etc. - how picky are we supposed to be?
  4. Jan 11, 2009 #3
    its actually about the conservation of kinetic energy ...

    so would it be conserved?

    I mean there would be elastic potential energy right.. ?and that would transform into kinetic energy?!
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