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Collisions and springs

  1. Jul 20, 2011 #1
    In an elastic head-on collision, a 0.60 kg cart moving at 5.0 m/s (W) collides with a 0.80 kg cart moving at 2.0m/s (E). the collision is cushioned by a spring (k=1200 N/m)

    a find the velocity of each cart after the collision

    b find the maximum compression of the spring

    ATTEMPT:

    cart 1:
    v1=( m1-m2/m1+m2)(v1)
    v1= (0.6-0.8/0.6+0.8)(7)
    v1= -1

    then i did -1 + -1 = -3 m/s (E)

    cart 2:

    v2= (2m1/m1+m2) (v1)
    v2= 6
    6 + -2= 4 m/s (W)

    i'm totally lost for part b
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2011 #2
    It may help to recall the potential energy stored in a compressed spring is equal to

    U = 0.5 * K * X^2
     
  4. Jul 21, 2011 #3
    you might want to check (a) again
    i am getting different answers
     
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