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October 25, 2014

Homework Help: physics

Posted by Ashley on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 at 8:10am.

Hi, I am confused about physics, more specifically force.

I know that the formula for force is:
f=ma

So what if an object traveling at constant speed (acc equals zero) collides with a wall? How would you calculate the force, since there is no acceleration?


There IS force upon the object, as well as acceleration, when collision occurs. Its velocity DOES change during the impact, since it must stop and turn around, stick or bounce off.

In order to calculate the force during impact, you need to know how long the objects are in contact. That depends upon the elastic properties of the surfaces where contact occurs, and whether permanent deformation occurs. This can be difficult to compute accurately. Often an experimental measurement is used

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