January 23, 2017

Homework Help: Physics

Posted by Nick on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 7:28pm.

Tom the train and Dan are involved in an elastic collision. A 2.5 kg Tom is, at rest but is approached head-on by a 5.0 kg Dan moving at 0.60 m/s. The force-separation graph for the ensuing collision is given:
the picture of the graph is found here: i54.tinypic (dot) com/2zyftae.jpg

a. What is the total kinetic energy before the collision? After?
b. What is the velocity of each train at minimum separation?
c. What is the total kinetic energy at minimum separation?
d. How much energy is stored at minimum separation?
e. What is the minimum separation distance between the trains? Hint: The energy temporarily stored at minimum separation equals a portion of the area under the above graph. The collision starts when the centers of the trains are separated by 0.03 m as shown on the above graph at which time the collision force is 15 N. But this force increases to 30 N and then eventually 45 N.
f. What is the magnitude of the force acting on each mass at minimum separation?

I really have no idea how to get started with this question, i know for instance that there are two basic types of collisions, elastic and inelastic. This one is an elastic one so you would use the ((m1-m2)/(m1-m2))v1 and/or ((2m1)/(m1+m2))v1.

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