Predict Whether Collision will be Elastic or Inelastic

  • #1
dimensionless
459
1

Homework Statement


A mass sits on the end of a spring and is at equilibrium.
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|/\/\/\/\/|_m_|________________()' o_____o '_________________

A car is costing gracefully towards the mass. The car has a semi-rigid rubber tire mounted on its front. The mass of the mass and mass of the car are approximately equal mass. When the car collides with the mass will the collision be elastic or inelastic?


Homework Equations


There are basic equations for collision problems. In elastic collisions

m1*v1_i + m2*v2_i = m1*v1_final + m2*v2_final

In inelastic collisions

m1*v1_i + m2*v2_i = (m1+m2)*v_f

In both types of problems kinetic energy in conserved and

m1*v1_i^2 + m2*v2_i^2 = m1*v1_final^2 + m2*v2_final^2


The Attempt at a Solution


The problem is to determine what type of collision is at hand. As far as attempting a solution, I can't really go any farther than this.
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
chaoseverlasting
1,039
3
The collision cant be elastic as due to the spring force, linear momentum along the x axis is not conserved and thats a condition for elastic collisions.
 

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