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    Elastic Collision and Colliding Trains

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    Draw two diagrams for the situation where a moving train collides with a train that is not moving, and the trains use their springy bumpers to bounce off each other without damage. One diagram should show the instant just before the collision and the other the instant just after the collision. Assume the trains do not have the same mass. Make sure you identify your isolated system. Solve for the final velocity of each train in terms of the initial velocity of the initially moving train.

    Hint: use conservation of momentum and the relation between the relative velocities before and after collision that arises due to conservation of energy.

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    Solution Summary

    This solution provides step by step calculations to this two body problem. I have included two diagrams as required.