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Elastic Collisions in One Dimension

  1. Oct 13, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A cart with mass 310 g moving on a frictionless linear air track at an initial speed of 1.4 m/s undergoes an elastic collision with an initially stationary cart of unknown mass. After the collision, the first cart continues in its original direction at 0.64 m/s.


    2. Relevant equations

    (1/2)m1vo^2 +(1/2)m2vo^2 = (1/2)m1vf^2 + (1/2)m2vf^2


    3. The attempt at a solution

    (310)(1.4)^2 + 0 = (310)(.64)^2 + m2vf^2

    (310)(1.4)^2 - (310)(.64)^2 = m2vf^2

    but I feel like I need vf to find m2 so how am I supposed to go from here?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2009 #2

    ideasrule

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    Two things have to be conserved in an elastic collision. One is energy, which you have. What's the other one?
     
  4. Oct 13, 2009 #3
    And momentum
    which would be

    m1v1o = m1v1f + m2v2f ???
     
  5. Oct 29, 2009 #4
    you sure it didnt say "inelastic" instead? and what exactly are they asking you to work out : /
     
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