A mass sits on the end of a spring and is at equilibrium.
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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?
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.