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Inelastic collisions

  1. Nov 27, 2004 #1
    Mass 1 is moving with an initial speed of v_1, which undergoes a completely inelastic collision with a stationary block mass 2. The two blocks then stick together and move at a speed v_2. The two blocks then collide inelastically with a third block mass 3. Assuming that the blocks slide without friction what is v_2/v_1: the ratio of the velocity v_2 of the two block system after the first collision, to the velocity v_1 of the mass 1 before the collision?

    I started with 1/2(m_1)(v_1)^2=1/2*(m_1+m_2)(v_2)^2 and then solved for v_2/v_1 but I'm not sure that is the right equation. Any help would be great.

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  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2004 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Use conservation of momentum, not energy.
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