# Elastic Collision Problem involving KE

• sj12390
In summary, in an elastic collision between a light object and a heavy object, both objects will have the same amount of kinetic energy after the collision. However, the initial speeds of the objects can affect the distribution of kinetic energy between them. If the initial speeds are equal, then the kinetic energy will be divided equally between the objects. But if the initial speed of the lighter object is greater, then it will carry away more kinetic energy than the heavy object, and vice versa if the initial speed of the heavy object is greater.
sj12390

## Homework Statement

In a collision a light object and a heavy object (elastic) which one has more KE? Does the answer depend on the initial speeds?

## Homework Equations

Conservation of KE

## The Attempt at a Solution

Since this is an elastic collision, KE is conserved. However, I was thinking that it would be impossible to tell which carries away with more of the KE because KE is determined based on mass AND velocity. While the light object might have a tiny mass, it could be traveling extremely fast and likewise, the heavy object could have a huge mass, but it could also be traveling extremely slowly. I'm just not sure if this is the correct logic, though. Any help would be appreciated!

Last edited:
You could answer this question like, "If the two intial speeds are equal then..." and then answer the second part by saying, "If the initial speed of the lighter object is greater than that of the heavy object then..." and vce versa.

## 1. What is an elastic collision?

An elastic collision is a type of collision between two objects in which there is no loss of kinetic energy. This means that the total kinetic energy of the system before the collision is equal to the total kinetic energy after the collision.

## 2. How is kinetic energy involved in an elastic collision?

Kinetic energy is the energy an object possesses due to its motion. In an elastic collision, the total kinetic energy of the system is conserved, meaning that it remains the same before and after the collision.

## 3. What is the equation for calculating kinetic energy in an elastic collision?

The equation for calculating kinetic energy in an elastic collision is KE = 1/2 * m * v^2, where KE is kinetic energy, m is the mass of the object, and v is the velocity of the object.

## 4. How does the mass and velocity of the objects affect the outcome of an elastic collision?

In an elastic collision, the mass and velocity of the objects determine the amount of kinetic energy involved in the collision. A higher mass or velocity of an object will result in a greater amount of kinetic energy transferred during the collision.

## 5. What are some real-life examples of elastic collisions?

Some real-life examples of elastic collisions include billiard balls colliding on a table, two cars colliding and bouncing off each other, and a tennis ball hitting a racket and bouncing back.

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