Posted by Jim on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 7:28pm.
Consider a perfectly inelastic headon collision between a small car and a large truck traveling at the same speed. Which vehicle has a greater change in kinetic energy as a result of the collision?
Since the vehicles stick together after the collision and take the direction of the large truck (greater momentum), I guessed that the small car would have a greater change in kinetic energy.
I can easily use formulas to find answers, but I always have trouble with conceptual questions like this.

Physics  bobpursley, Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 7:39pm
Hmmmm. What is a perfectly inelastic collision as compared to an inelastic collision?
Momentum is conserved.
Mvmv= initial momentum
after the collision...
Mvmv=(M+m)v'
now which is greater?
vv', or vv' Obviously, the smaller mass is greater (vv').
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