Re: Physics Question

From: Dave Sill (
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 13:05:35 MST

Jerome <> wrote:
> The van I am climbing out of is struck from behind by a 4000 pound car
> traveling at, say 35 miles per hour. The car striking the van comes to
> rest, imparting it's energy to the van, which quickly comes up to a high
> (~35 mph?) speed.

The key word is "quickly". Since it doesn't happen instantaneously, I
think the door frame is moving substantially slower than 35 mph when
it hits your back.

> My physics question is: how does one characterize the energy transfer that
> occurred here?

Painful? :-)

> I'm especially interested in being able to say how much
> energy was in the blow that I received.

Sorry, I really have no idea how to figure the acceleration of the van
caused by the impact.


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