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Collision Conservation of Energy

  1. Mar 4, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    a 5.0 x 10^5kg railroad car moving at 8.0m/s. collides with a stationary railroad car of equal mass. after the collision the two cars lock together and slide forward. What is the final velocity of the wrecked cars?
    using conservation of energy
    M1 = 5.0 x 10^5 kg
    M2 = 5.0 x 10^5
    Vi1 = 8.0m/s
    Vi2 = 0m/s
    Vf = ?
    2. Relevant equations
    Ek = 1/2mv^2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I didn't know where to start, I found the kinetic energy of the railroad car(1.6 x10^7 J) and added it to the stationary one - since it's stationary the railroad car would initially have 0 kinetic energy
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2016 #2
    My teacher didn't teach us how to solve collision questions using conservation of energy
     
  4. Mar 4, 2016 #3

    gneill

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    Staff: Mentor

    What type of collision does this scenario represent? What's conserved and what's not conserved in such a collision?
     
  5. Mar 4, 2016 #4
    I believe it represents an elastic collision, and conservation of energy/momentenum is conserved. They both lock on together after collision and move as one.
     
  6. Mar 4, 2016 #5

    PeroK

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    Science Advisor
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    Gold Member

  7. Mar 4, 2016 #6

    gneill

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    Staff: Mentor

    Review the properties of the collision types. You've got things backwards.
     
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