# Is my teacher's work for collisions problem correct?

• toesockshoe
In summary, the problem and solution involve a collision between two masses, with the equations provided in the given link. The question raised is how to determine if the final velocities of both masses are equal, which would only be the case in a perfectly inelastic collision. The conversation concludes with the understanding that the masses would not have the same velocity in an inelastic collision unless it is also an elastic collision.
toesockshoe

## Homework Statement

The problem and solution is here: http://nebula.deanza.edu/~Newton/4A/4AE2P3Winter10.jpg .

## Homework Equations

The equations are in that link.

## The Attempt at a Solution

My question is how do you know that the final velocities of both masses are equal to each other? wouldn't that ONLY be hte case if the collision was perfectly inelastic (which he didnt mention).

toesockshoe said:
how do you know that the final velocities of both masses are equal to each other? wouldn't that ONLY be hte case if the collision was perfectly inelastic (which he didnt mention).
I agree.

haruspex said:
I agree.
alright, and in this case it would be simply impossible for the masses to have the same velocity... because the first mass (the mass on the left) would move left after the collision correct?

toesockshoe said:
alright, and in this case it would be simply impossible for the masses to have the same velocity... because the first mass (the mass on the left) would move left after the collision correct?
nevermind scratch that... that would only happen if it is an elastic collision... this may or may not happen in an inelastic collision

## 1. How do I know if my teacher's work for collisions problem is correct?

There are a few ways to check if your teacher's work for a collisions problem is correct. First, you can compare your teacher's solution to the solution provided in the textbook or class notes. Second, you can ask your teacher to walk you through their thought process and calculations to ensure they followed the correct steps. Third, you can try solving the problem yourself and compare your solution to your teacher's.

## 2. What should I do if I think my teacher's work for a collisions problem is incorrect?

If you believe your teacher's work for a collisions problem is incorrect, you should first ask them to double-check their calculations and explain their reasoning. If you still believe there is an error, you can seek help from a classmate or a tutor. It is also important to bring up your concerns to your teacher so they can address any mistakes and help clarify any confusion.

## 3. Can I use a different method than my teacher for solving a collisions problem?

Yes, there are often multiple methods for solving a collisions problem. Your teacher may have taught you a specific method, but you can always use a different approach as long as it is mathematically sound and leads to the correct answer.

## 4. Are there any common mistakes to watch out for when solving a collisions problem?

Yes, there are a few common mistakes that students make when solving collisions problems. These include forgetting to account for all the forces involved, using incorrect units, and not properly setting up the equations of motion. It is important to double-check your work and make sure your calculations make sense in the context of the problem.

## 5. How can I improve my understanding of collisions problems?

To improve your understanding of collisions problems, it is important to practice solving various types of problems and to seek help from your teacher or classmates when needed. You can also review class notes and textbook examples, as well as watch online tutorials or attend review sessions. Additionally, developing a strong understanding of the underlying principles and equations involved in collisions can also help you better solve these types of problems.

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