1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Collision on an air track

  1. Mar 31, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A 0.147 glider is moving to the right on a frictionless, horizontal air track with a speed of 0.870 . It has a head-on collision with a 0.292 glider that is moving to the left with a speed of 2.20 . Suppose the collision is elastic. What is the magnitude of the final velocity of both
    carts after the collision?


    2. Relevant equations

    M1U1+M2U2=M1V1+M2V2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I can setup the equation and determine the direction both carts are traveling after the collision but with 2 unknowns for the final speeds I dont know how to find the exact speed each is traveling after the collision.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2010 #2

    PhanthomJay

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    If th collision is perfectly elastic, there is a 2nd equation you can use. What else is conserved besides momentum in an elastic collision?
     
  4. Mar 31, 2010 #3
    Wouldn't Kinetic energy also be conserved?
     
  5. Mar 31, 2010 #4

    PhanthomJay

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    yes, sure
     
  6. Mar 31, 2010 #5
    ok so I would set the initial kinetic energy equal to the final kinetic energy and solve for the velocity right?
     
  7. Mar 31, 2010 #6

    PhanthomJay

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    you'd have to sove the 2 equations with 2 unknowns for the velocities...as I recall, it is a little tricky..but nonetheless, solvable.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook