# Questions tagged [collision]

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

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### How to explain the Maxwell Boltzmann distribution graph (physically)?

While studying the kinetic theory of gases, I came to the section: "The Distribution of Molecular Speed" of a book. The book first (without any explanation) proposes the Maxwell's speed distribution ...
16k views

### Why is momentum conserved when a ball hits a vertical wall?

Almost in every book on physics, there's an example of conservation of momentum when the ball that is moving horizontally in the air, hits some massive wall. They claim that the return speed of the ...
5k views

### Sphere rolling up a step [closed]

A sphere of radius R is rolling without slipping with a velocity v and collides inelastically with a step of height h < R. What is the minimum velocity for which the sphere will be over the step? ...
4k views

### Why collide a moving particle with a particle at rest, rather than two moving particles?

I was just reading some lecture notes about relativistic and quantum mechanics, and in the later part of this page the author demonstrates that any relativistic particle collision in the "lab" ...
406 views

### Is it possible to determine the outcome of any impact knowing only the ratio of masses? [duplicate]

In elastic collisions in 2-D if two balls $A$, $B$ ($m_A = m_B$, $R = 1$) have equal mass we can determine in advance the outcome of the collision. If cue-ball $A$ impacts object-ball $B$ (at rest) ...
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### Why is momentum conserved in an inelastic collision and kinetic energy is not conserved? [duplicate]

We know that in an inelastic collision that total momentum of the system before collision equals the total momentum after collision. But total kinetic energy before collision is not equal to total ...
2k views

### During a collision, why is momentum not conserved in a participant's frame of reference?

[This question is inspired by an astute observation from a student of mine.] When we discuss conservation of momentum, students often ask, "When is momentum conserved?" And the lazy, mechanical ...
381 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 ...
204 views

### Colliding black holes

If objects approaching the event horizon of a black hole appear to slow down to outside observers, how was LIGO able to "see" black holes collide? Wouldn't their collision appear to stop as their ...
3k views

### Use the relative velocity formula to find $v_{2f}$ in terms of $v_{1f}$?

Q: A $0.150\text{ kg}$ glider is moving to the right ($+x$) on a frictionless, horizontal air track with a speed of $0.80\text{ m/s}$. It has an elastic collision with a $0.300\text{ kg}$ glider ...
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### Newton's 3rd Law: How can I break things?

If I punch a wooden board hard enough and it breaks in two, has the board still exerted a force of equal magnitude on my fist? When the board breaks in two due to my force, the halves have a ...
2k views

### Head-on collision between two neutrons

If two neutrons were set to collide head-on, being electrically neutral: Will they feel each other's presence due to electrostatic interaction between quarks of approaching neutrons? When they ...
3k views

### Is Atmospheric Pressure due to weight of air or the collisions of the Molecules

This question is in response to @brightmagnus answer whose link is Pressure in Fluids,in particular horizontal pressure The question : Is the atmospheric pressure due to the weight of air or ...
109 views

### Resources for droplets investigation

I am interested in investigating droplets mechanics. I have read some documents and journal papers related to some aspects of (water) droplets e.g. surface tension, collision with flat surfaces or ...
2k views

### Can a pool ball change direction mid-roll?

In this youtube video, a pool shark consistently gets the cue ball to drastically change direction mid-roll (i.e. while after he's hit it). Is this theoretically possible without using trick balls? If ...
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### How to calculate a collision which is partly elastic and partly inelastic?

(For the purpose of this question, "calculating a collision" means: given the velocities and masses of two objects in a collision, figuring out the new velocities of both objects after the collision). ...
1k views

### Does a force really act on a body during a collision?

Consider two bodies A(black) and B(red) having equal mass. A is moving at a constant speed towards B, which is stationary. At certain point of time, they collide elastically, $\therefore u_{A}=v_{B}$ ...
882 views

### How is momentum conserved in this example? [duplicate]

Suppose a sticky substance is thrown at wall. The initial momentum of the wall and substance system is only due to velocity of the substance but the final momentum is 0. Why is momentum not conserved?
133 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} - V^{B}...
743 views

### Impulse in perfectly elastic collision

I am implementing this simplified model at the moment, and I am trying to get my head around the physics concepts behind this model. Event-Driven Simulation So the model has two parts, first is ...
2k views

### Why don't two objects move with the same velocity after collision?

I have a problem with understanding the nature of collisions and their outcomes. From my understanding, I come to think that when a mass collides with another, both of them should always have equal ...
982 views

### Collision of Phobos

Mars has two moons: Phobos and Deimos. Both are irregular and are believed to have been captured from the nearby asteroid belt. Phobos always shows the same face to Mars because of tidal forces ...
10k views

### Is there difference in force when the height increases?

Consider a man with mass 50kg. When he jumps from a 2 meter height, the total force is $F=ma$ ie (mass * gravity), but nothing happens to him. When he jumps from a 50 meter height, the total force is ...
8k 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 ...
2k views

### Why can't collisions be elastic?

I understand that in inelastic collisions thermal energy is given out, but why does that happen? Why can't they simply rebound without giving off energy? Also, why in some collisions more heat is ...
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### 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?
18k views

### Why does a billiard ball stop when it hits another billiard ball head on?

(I'm repeating myself a lot here, but it's because I want to make my confusion clear.) If 2 billiard balls are the same exact mass, and one hits another stationary one head on, I have heard that the ...
1k views

### Deriving equation for skipping stones over water

Why can rocks skip over water (stone skipping)? For instance, if you conduct an experiment where you drop both rocks from the same height, but give one considerable acceleration in the $x$-direction, ...
313k views

### Jumping into water

Two questions: Assuming you dive head first or fall straight with your legs first, what is the maximal height you can jump into water from and not get hurt? In other words, an H meter fall into water ...
10k views

### What would put a harddisk drive (HDD) under 350G's of force?

I always see the label and it says 350G's withstandable. What would put this over 350G's? Is it even possible to hit 350Gs of force to a hard drive?
3k views

### Ball flying towards me or me flying towards ball

Suppose a ball is flying towards me at a speed of 10m/s and that, on impact, I feel "x" amount of pain. If, instead, it was me flying towards the ball at the same speed, with all other conditions ...
3k views

### What would the collision between a (large) solid planet and a gas giant be like?

Assuming a Jupiter-like planet and an Earth-like planet (Except, say... half the mass of Jupiter), what would happen when the two collide? For clarification: What would the actual collision be like? ...
6k views

### Elastic collision of rotating bodies

How would you explain in detail elastic collision of two rotating bodies to someone with basic understanding of classical mechanics? I'm writing simple physics engine, but now only simulating non-...
477 views

### Can computers accurately model all of the details (to the subatomic level) of macro objects in collisions?

Frequently when trying to solve cosmology questions physicists turn to computer simulations of the universe (albeit massively simplified) in order to verify or disprove their hypotheses. This got me ...
2k views

### What happens when two bodies collide in a dynamics point of view?

I'm a high school student learning about energy and momentum. What confuses me is the things with elastic and inelastic collisions. I completely (in my opinion) understand those concepts in energy ...
Surely someone has found the solutions to the hard sphere collisions (in $n$ dimensions) of two bodies of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$, respectively--that is the resultant velocities (or momenta) of the two ...