Suppose we have some ramp on wheels of mass $M$, standing on a frictionless surface. A cart of mass $m$ moves with a certain velocity $v$ towards the ramp. The cart moves up the ramp seamlessly, and there's no friction between them and no loss of energy.
- Find the maximal height $h$ that the cart will reach after the collision
- Find the time (starting from the moment of the collision) it will take for the cart to reach the maximal height (given the angle of the incline $\alpha$)
I have a few questions regarding this tricky question:
1) What happens after the collision (between the moment the cart is getting on the ramp and till the moment it returns to the ground)? Does the cart and the ramp are moving with a common velocity at each point in time (i.e. they both have the same velocity all the time, which is changing due to the deceleration of the cart)?
2) I suppose both the cart and the ramp are moving with the same velocity when the cart reaches the maximal height. Why can I use the conservation of momentum $mv+0=(m+M)V$ here? The conservation of mometum law states that if no external forces are acting on the system then the momentum is conserved. However, during the collision, there IS an external force acting on the cart and that is the gravity.
3) How can I possibly find the time it takes for the cart to get to the maximal height (even if we suppose that the incline is not curved)?