# Inelastic collision at an angle with two cars

• huh
In summary: The equation of conservation of momentum states that the total momentum of the system is the same after the collision as it was before. You could try to find this total momentum by taking the product of the masses of the two cars and dividing by the speed of the final system.
huh
almost there-inelastic collision at an angle

Two cars, both of mass m, collide and stick together. Prior to the collision, one car had been traveling north at speed 2v, while the second was traveling at speed v at an angle phi south of east. After the collision, the two-car system travels at speed v(final) at an angle theta east of north.

I want to find v(final) in terms of v and phi.

Only momentum is conserved, so would I just use m1(2v1)+m2v2cos(phi)=(m1+v1)v(final)sin(theta)

or could it be (m1+m2)2vcos(phi) divided by (m1+m2)

I'm not sure how to set up the equation...I've been confusing myself...

Last edited:
Please help me understand.

You mixed the sines and cosines up - it should be: m(2v)+m(v)sin(phi) =(2m)v(final)cos(theta)

Thanks. okay, so...

m2v+ mv sin(phi) divided by 2m cos(theta) is v(final)?

how can I get v(final) with only v and Phi? I can't have m or theta in the equation.

Well, to get rid of m, you can obviously divide the whole equation by m.

Wouldn't there be an extra m on the bottom, and how could I get rid of theta and be left with phi, or does theta count for much (is it negligible)?

huh said:
Wouldn't there be an extra m on the bottom, and how could I get rid of theta and be left with phi, or does theta count for much (is it negligible)?

Since momentum is a vector quantity, you can write the equation of conservation of momentum for the other direction, too. (The x-direction.) That should allow you to elliminate the angle phi.

what does v final look like?

waht do u mean write the equation of momentum for the other direction?

## What is an inelastic collision at an angle?

An inelastic collision at an angle occurs when two objects, such as cars, collide and stick together after the impact. This results in a loss of kinetic energy and deformation of the objects involved.

## How is the angle of collision calculated?

The angle of collision can be calculated using the law of cosines, which takes into account the initial velocities and masses of the objects involved.

## What factors affect the outcome of an inelastic collision at an angle?

The outcome of an inelastic collision at an angle is affected by the initial velocities, masses, and angle of collision of the objects. Other factors such as friction and external forces can also play a role.

## What is the difference between an inelastic collision at an angle and an elastic collision at an angle?

In an elastic collision at an angle, the objects bounce off each other after the impact and there is no loss of kinetic energy. In an inelastic collision at an angle, the objects stick together and there is a loss of kinetic energy.

## How is momentum conserved in an inelastic collision at an angle?

In an inelastic collision at an angle, the total momentum of the system remains the same before and after the collision. This means that the momentum of the objects before the collision is equal to the momentum of the combined objects after the collision.

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