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Prove inelastic collision loses the most KE?

  1. Oct 22, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Prove that inelastic collisions have the most KE loss of any type of collision (i.e. partially inelastic and elastic are the others)

    2. Relevant equations
    m1v1+ m2v2= (m1+m2)Vf

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have solved for Vf in that Vf=(m1v1+m2v2)/(m1+m2), but I am totally unsure as to where to go from here
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2015 #2


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    If you want to show it retains the least energy out of all the possibilities, then you will need an equation that encompasses all possibilities. Start with a general equation for one dimensional collision and express the energy retained (or the energy lost, if you think that will be more helpful) in terms of the final velocities.
    You will then want to get it in terms of a single variable somehow related to the final velocities. Consider what relationship you are trying to establish, and what single function of the two would encapsulate that relationship.
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