Interaction between two or more bodies that results in physical contact and an exchange of momentum between the bodies involved.

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Rigid body collision, 3 circles in contact

I'm working on a 2d physics simulation. It's a continuous time simulation, that is, it uses swept shapes over the time-frame and geometrical/vector 'analysis' to determine most immediate time of ...
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10answers
4k views

Should you really lean into a punch?

There's a conventional wisdom that the best way to minimize the force impact of a punch to the head is to lean into it, rather than away from it. Is it true? If so, why? EDIT: Hard to search for ...
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357 views

What are the problems in analyzing an experiment with non-ideal collisions? [closed]

For a two-dimensional collision experiment, I must explain in one of the questions the problems in analyzing a non-ideal two-dimensional collision. As the question states: Suppose that the ...
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1answer
492 views

Can a photon survive a collision? If so, is it at rest during the process?

Background Irving Kaplan, in Article 6.7: The Compton Effect of Nuclear Physics (2nd Ed.) explains the Compton effect as follows: Compton (1923) was able to show that when a beam of ...
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0answers
114 views

2d pool collision with rotational motion

I'm trying to calculate two 2d disks' collision with rotational motion. The collision is perfectly elastic: the sum of translational and rotational energy is conserved. In the instant of the collision ...
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6answers
3k views

What would happen if Large Hadron Collider would collide electrons?

After some reading about the Large Hadron Collider and it's very impressive instruments to detect and investigate the collision results, there is a remaining question. What would happen if the ...
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1answer
53 views

Is this process possible for L=0? $e^+e^- \to 2\eta_c$

For the following $$e^+ e^- \to \eta_c \eta_c$$ I think it violates parity conservation so it can't happen, but is there any other reason as to why it can't take place? Or is it actually possible?
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1answer
126 views

Ascertain the height an object has fallen from given force exerted and mass [closed]

An object of a given mass falls from an unknown height. If the force exerted by the object on contact with the ground is known, how would you ascertain the height from which the object fell?
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2answers
73 views

Distribution of Kinetic energy after an Impact

How does the huge amount of kinetic energy of some fast object like a meteor or rocket etc. gets distributed into various kinds of energy like kinetic, sound, light etc after making an impact with ...
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1answer
291 views

Is there such a thing as instantly stopping?

I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but I've never taken a physics class and I was curious about something. But anyway, my question is, is there such a thing as instantly stopping? For example, if ...
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0answers
69 views

Which body position causes the least amount of negative acceleration? [closed]

Let's say you are in the air 500 meters above flat land and you have no parachute. Which pose - forming a sphere or spreading all extremities to make yourself as wide as possible or other - is the ...
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4answers
1k views

Acceleration of a car in a collision?

For example because of newton law $F=ma$ force is acceleration times mass but if I go at a high constant velocity ($900\: \mathrm{miles/hour}$) in my car for examples I have $0$ acceleration but if I ...
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3answers
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Force when acceleration is zero

i tried to find it in books but i was unable to do so and i am not able to understand this and I couldn't think of a better example. i repeat. its just an example. if i punch someone's face with my ...
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1answer
132 views

How to apply conservation of angular momentum with a shock? [closed]

I got this tricky question, need help. A uniform rod of mass $M$ and length $L$ is attached to an axis at its top, a bullet with mass $m$ traveling at speed $U$ (horizontal) hits the rod at $2L/3$ ...
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2answers
371 views

Matter and anti-matter collision energy problem

From Beyond Einstein, by Michio Kaku and Jennifer Thompson, Chapter 13, Antimatter : Dirac, also focused on the fact that Einstein's equation $E=mc^2$ wasn't totally true. (Einstein was aware that ...
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2answers
318 views

Is two cars colliding at 25 mph the same as one car colliding into a wall at 50 mph in reference to injuries?

This question has been asked using 50 & 100 mph reference, see this Phys.SE post and links therein. However, I am interested in the potential injuries to occupants of the autos. As the one going ...
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1answer
709 views

How can I calculate the time until collision?

I'm programming a 1 dimensional physics simulator in python. How do I calculate the amount of time until two particle points that are traveling towards eachother collide? I am using the equation: ...
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3answers
4k views

When is energy conserved in a collision and not momentum?

Consider the following example: A bullet of mass 45g is fired at a speed of 220 m/s into a 5.0 kg sandbag hanging from a string from the ceiling. The sandbag absorbs the bullet and begins to ...
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3answers
3k views

Conservation of Momentum/Energy collision Problem

I'm working on a physics problem in preparation for the MCAT and there's this particular problem that's troubling me. I don't know if it's a bad question or if I'm not understanding some sort of ...
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1answer
277 views

Electron and photon collision

So electron moving left ($v_{initial}=0.8c$) collides into photon going right. After the collision electron is moving to right ($v_{after}=0.6c$) and the photon is moving to left. What is the ...
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1answer
65 views

absorption length of thermal neutrons in a medium

My book states that $$N(x)=N_0\cdot e^{n\cdot \sigma \cdot x}$$ for $n$ absorbing particles per volume element with a cross section $\sigma$. Can somebody explain where this comes from?
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1answer
488 views

effect of object mass in coeficient of restitution

I know the coefficient of restitution depends on the velocity before and after the impact of a bouncing ball. How does the mass affect it. Can't figure it out. v ...
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2answers
146 views

How do you make a collision more elastic?

Currently, as described in this question, collisions cannot be elastic. However, is there a way to make a collision more elastic? Background: We're working on a project right now involving high ...
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1answer
86 views

How to calculate the force in an “impulse based reaction model”? [duplicate]

I have a sphere moving forward with v (pre collision) = v1i A second sphere colliding with the first one has its own pre collision ...
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1answer
506 views

Do particles ever touch each other during a collision? [duplicate]

Do particles ever touch each other during a collision? My understanding is that they can get really close to each other but never actually touch, is that true? Another thing I've read about is, the ...
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1answer
151 views

Is the center of mass in general relativity equal to the center of mass in newtonian gravity?

Consider 2 point masses $A,B$ a distance $d$ away from eachother without velocity or rotation spin. Is the center of mass in general relativity equal to the center of mass in newtonian gravity ? In ...
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420 views

Relativistic elastic head-on collision: The momentum just reverses direction

Consider a relativistic elastic head-on collision between a projectile, with mass $m_a$ and velocity $\mathbf{v}_a$, and a stationary target of mass $m_b$. Here "head-on" means that the two particles ...
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3answers
188 views

Collision between a photon and a massive particle

Just a small question regarding collisions. Imagine a head-on collision between a photon and a particle with mass that moves with a non-relativistic speed, the particle was on its ground state, ...
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1answer
71 views

How does this formula for calculating the “mass sum” in a collision translate to 3D?

According this tutorial, formula number 5: $$j = \frac{-(1 + e)((V^{A} - V^{B}) * t)}{\frac{1}{mass^{A}} + \frac{1}{mass^{B}}}$$ translates into formula number 6: $$j = \frac{-(1 + e)((V^{A} - ...
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0answers
55 views

How close together must air molecules be to bounce off one another?

When, say $\text{N}_2$, is in the wild, it regularly collides with other $\text{N}_2$. I assume these collisions happen as, having become sufficiently close, the atomic electrons are repelled from ...
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1answer
134 views

Need for acceleration in particle-antiparticle annihilation? [closed]

If an electron and positron are accelerated towards each other, at distances quite far away, there wouldn't be any significant electrostatic attraction, hence they need to be accelerated. But when ...
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2answers
280 views

How multiple objects in contact are resolved in an inelastic collision, when edge normals don't “line up”

In a case I understand, let's say I have an object A moving at velocity V toward 3 objects in contact B, C, and D: The momentum of A is the mass of A times its velocity. To figure out how the ...
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2answers
386 views

How to calculate velocities after collision?

I'm currently writing a program for a particle simulator. One of the requirements is that the particles collide in a realistic way. However, I don't know how to calculate the final velocities. For ...
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114 views

Light bodies at high speeds behave like heavy objects when recorded by a high speed camera

This is potentially a very dumb question, but recently I was looking at some slow motion footage of bullets hitting stuff and I realized something interesting. One of the clips showed two metal ...
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5answers
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The Time That 2 Masses Will Collide Due To Newtonian Gravity

My friend and I have been wracking our heads with this one for the past 3 hours... We have 2 point masses, $m$ and $M$ in a perfect world separated by radius r. Starting from rest, they both begin to ...
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1answer
543 views

Centrality and collision parameter b

Can someone tell me what does it 20-30% collision centrality mean in terms of impact parameter b?
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1answer
60 views

Lifetime of Positron and its existence

Since we know in condensed matter the lifetime of positron is about 10^-10 seconds, how do we collide positrons with electrons? How many positrons were there during the LEP experiment? I know ...
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223 views

when water falls to the ground and forms a puddle, where does most of the energy go?

When water falls from some height to the ground and forms a puddle, where does most of the initial potential energy go? Sound, heat, surface tension, or motion of the earth?
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1answer
91 views

Bullet: Piercing vs. Deflection

I am trying to create a simulation where a projectile (imagine a bullet) is fired at a surface of some kind. When it collides with the surface, I need to figure out what happens between the bullet and ...
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1answer
42 views

Understanding the forces involved in a bounce from a collision?

A rock is thrown towards a window, and hits it. The window does not break and the rock reverses its direction and falls under the window. My question is, under this circumstance since the rock ...
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1answer
131 views

Asteroid collision debris calculation

I wonder how to determine the directions, in which the collision debris is launched when 2 asteroids collide. I am aware of: m1*v1 + m2*v2 = m*v = m3*v3 + m4*v4 + m5*v5 + ... and this works just fine ...
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1answer
462 views

Velocity after inelastic collision between bullet and block [closed]

The following is the problem that I am working on. A bullet of $.01\: \mathrm{kg}$ is shot into a block of mass $.89\: \mathrm{kg}$ that is hanging from the ceiling. After the bullet has been ...
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1answer
223 views

How can counting the number of cracks in glass tell you about the speed of impact? [closed]

A recent article, Counting cracks in glass gives speed of projectile (Andrew Grant, Science News, May 1 2013) indicates that the number of cracks in a broken glass can tell you information about the ...
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383 views

Hamiltonian function for classical hard-sphere elastic collision

I'm trying to find the Hamiltonian function for a system consisting of a single particle in one dimension colliding elastically with a wall at x = 0. Everything I've read on the topic (e.g. this ...
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0answers
61 views

Converting impact speed to pressure magnitude

In explosive safety and stability testing, a drop test is commonly used to determine the sensitivity to impact. In the test, an impactor of known mass is dropped. The initial height varies throughout ...
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1answer
2k views

Can the velocity of the center of mass of two spheres change after a collision?

I'm curious as to whether or not the velocity of the center of mass of a system comprised of two spheres can change after the two spheres collide. Looking at the equation for the velocity of the ...
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2answers
154 views

what happens during collision at molecular level?

When two massive bodies collide we treat them simply by their mass interactions with momentum and energy conservations. Down at the molecular level it must be more like a field particle collision for ...
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1answer
595 views

Is a collision with an immovable object equal to a head-on collision? [duplicate]

Scenario 1 Two identical and bilaterally symmetrical cars, driven by identical drivers in the exact center of the car and in the same body position, each traveling the same speed, collide exactly ...
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1answer
1k views

Calculating a 2D collision between two perfectly circular disks [duplicate]

Assume I have two disks, $p_1$ and $p_2$, of radius $r$, with their own velocities (preferably in $(x,y)$ form, but $(m, \theta)$ works too) and masses (unit-less, but same unit) collide in two ...
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1answer
107 views

Physics engine - collisions

I'm working on a 2D physics engine somulator and I want it to be very accurate on a Physics point of view. Currently I'm making some researchs about how rigid body collisions may be calculated, and ...