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Coefficient of Restitution

  1. Oct 13, 2009 #1
    I'm working on a software project that simulates spheres colliding in free space. We were thinking of having the coefficient of restitution different for each sphere (arbitrarily or randomly assigned at run time) but I forgot that the coefficient of restitution depends on the collision, not the object (physics was 4 years ago =P ). We could easily just have different types of objects (as in wood, metal, etc) and have definitions of coefficients between all the various types, but I'm still determined to have it be able to be arbitrary. Is there a way I can do this? Is there some formula that lets you know what the coefficient of restitution would be for a collision between 2 objects if you know, say, what the coefficient of restitution would be for each object against something whose coefficient is 1?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor

    In general, no. Much like coefficient of friction, this is something that needs to be experimentally measured.
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