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Logical result of a collision

  1. Oct 15, 2013 #1

    I'm sorry that I can't format the thread as intended and for very likely misuse of terms, but I'm a programmer barely remembering anything form physics (and non-native english speaker to boot), and I have a theoretical problem, not an actual homework. However I believe the problem is quite simple.

    The problem itself:

    two objects collide, I need to get a "logical result" of the collision - motion, energy absorption / damage.


    objects are solid (composed from one material)
    objects have shape of regular pyramidal frustum, collide with tops
    motion vectors are directly opposite, centres of mass are residing on a line and stay on the line after collision

    Known for objects:

    surface of base / top
    mass or height
    base friction

    everything else can be ignored or have a default value assumed


    a thrown pebble hits a wooden crate. Results: pebble is bounced back
    a thrown axe hits a wooden crate. Results: crate is cut, axe stopped
    a fired bullet hits a wooden crate. Results: crate is pierced, bullet continues moving
    a stopping car hits a wooden crate. Results: crate is bounced forward and takes impact damage

    If you don't have time/will to provide exact algorithms and formulas, I'd appreciate any opinions on the problem solvability and possible algorithms.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The problem is too open.
    You've seen the variation - there are whole libraries written just on material properties.
    Narrow the problem down: what do you want to know for?
  4. Oct 15, 2013 #3
    The problem may seem too open indeed, but I don't need any precise calculations, but rather just basic predictions. Examples I provided are likely to be solved by any human child or moderately trained neural network - all I need is a simple math base behind it.
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