Elastic Collisions Video Lessons

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Problem: Nate the Skate was an avid physics student whose main non-physics interest in life was high-speed skateboarding. In particular, Nate would often don a protective suit of Bounce-Tex, which he invented, and after working up a high speed on his skateboard, would collide with some object. In this way, he got a gut feel for the physical properties of collisions and succeeded in combining his two passions.* On one occasion, the Skate, with a mass of 117 kg, including his armor, hurled himself against a 801-kg stationary statue of Isaac Newton in a perfectly elastic linear collision. As a result, Isaac started moving at 1.89 m/s and Nate bounced backward. What were Nate's speeds immediately before and after the collision? (Enter positive numbers.) Ignore friction with the ground.

FREE Expert Solution

In this collision, we need to identify the quantities that are conserved. 

In a perfectly elastic collision, both momentum and kinetic energy are conserved. 

Conservation of momentum:

m1v0,1+m2v0,2=m1vf,1+m2vf,2

Conservation of kinetic energy:

12m1(v01)2+12m2(v02)2=12m1(vf1)2+12m2(vf2)2

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Problem Details

Nate the Skate was an avid physics student whose main non-physics interest in life was high-speed skateboarding. In particular, Nate would often don a protective suit of Bounce-Tex, which he invented, and after working up a high speed on his skateboard, would collide with some object. In this way, he got a gut feel for the physical properties of collisions and succeeded in combining his two passions.* On one occasion, the Skate, with a mass of 117 kg, including his armor, hurled himself against a 801-kg stationary statue of Isaac Newton in a perfectly elastic linear collision. As a result, Isaac started moving at 1.89 m/s and Nate bounced backward. What were Nate's speeds immediately before and after the collision? (Enter positive numbers.) Ignore friction with the ground.

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