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Elastic and inelastic collision of two objects with arbitrary mass

An object A moving with velocity V collides with a stationary object B. After the Collision, A is moving with velocity (1/2)V and B with velocity (3/2)V. Find the ratio of their masses.

If, instead of bouncing apart, the two bodies stick together after the collision, with what velocity would they then move?

Solution Preview

Before the collision:
Object A mass=m1 velocity = v1i
Object B mass=m2 velocity = 0 (rest)

After the collision:
Object A mass=m1 velocity = v1f
Object B mass=m2 velocity = v2f

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In an elastic collision, the kinetic energy and linear momentum of each colliding body may change, but the total kinetic energy and the total linear momentum of the system remain the same.

According to the conservation of the total linear momentum,
m1v1i = m1v1f + m2v2f -------(1)

According to the conservation of the total kinetic energy,
(½)m1[(v1i)^2] = (½)m1[(v1f)^2] + (½)m2[(v2f)^2] ---------(2)

Equation (1) can be written as
m1(v1i - v1f) = m2v2f ...

Solution Summary

Detailed explanation of equations and solution.

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