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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

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    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

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    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

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    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.
     
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