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Homework Help: Magnets and collision

  1. Apr 5, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Two blocks are free to slide along a frictionless wooden track ABC as shown in Figure P9.20. The block of mass m1 = 5.02 kg is released from A. Protruding from its front end is the north pole of a strong magnet, repelling the north pole of an identical magnet embedded in the back end of the block of mass m2 = 9.10 kg, initially at rest. The two blocks never touch. Calculate the maximum height to which m1 rises after the elastic collision.


    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I don't even know where to start on this problem
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2008 #2
    Conservation laws ring a bell?
  4. Apr 5, 2008 #3
    Don't over complicate the problem. There is no friction, so all energy is conserved within the system. Think of the relationship between potential and kinetic energy and how they are converted into each other. Also, since there is an elastic collision, you need to use some momentum equations. Keep in mind that momentum and kinetic energy are both conserved in elastic collisions.
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