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Linear Momentum and Collision: Maximum spring compression, final velocities of particles

Two particles with masses m1=2.0kg and m2=5.0kg are free to slide on a straight horizontal frictionless guide wire. The particle with the smaller mass is moving with speed of 17.0m/s and overtakes the larger particle, which is moving in the same direction with a speed of 3.0m/s. The larger particle has an ideal inertia-less spring (k=4480N/m) attached to the side being approched by the smaller particle.

a) What is the maximum compression of the spring as the two particles collide?
b) What are the final velocities of the particles?

Solution Summary

Full and clear calculations are shown in solving the problem.