Re: Physics Question

From: John Clark (
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 10:26:05 MST

<> Wrote:

>When the 4000 pound car travelling at 35 mph hits the 3000 pound
>minivan, if the collision were elastic and no energy was lost in the
>crushing metal, the result would be the minivan going at 40 mph.

The only way for the original car to transfer all its momentum to the target
car is if the two automobiles have exactly the same mass, if the collision
was perfectly elastic (and in the real would it would not be) it would transfer
all its energy too. Under these ideal conditions when they hit the original car
would come to a complete stop and the target car would move at the original
car's former speed, but regardless of the weight of either car there is no way
the second car can end up moving faster than the first after a collision.

        John K Clark

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