Physics Friday 109

Continuing from last week, we consider the speed of the mass M after it undergoes a deflection by the maximum angle in a collision with an initially stationary mass m<M.

Recalling the circle formed by the possible velocities, with the maximum angle representing the tangent vector, we can use the right triangle to find the velocity.

Specifically, the Pythagorean theorem tells us that
so that we see that the smaller the stationary mass m is in proportion to the mass M, the closer the maximum-angle post-collision velocity is to the pre-collision velocity in both direction and magnitude; and as the masses aproach equality, the maximum-angle post-collision speed goes to zero.
Lastly, we can find the speed as a function of the maximum angle via :


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One Response to “Physics Friday 109”

  1. Physics Friday 114 « Twisted One 151's Weblog Says:

    […] case. When n is large, θ is small, so , and with this approximation, . Now, we found here that in the maximum angle deflection case, the velocity post-collision has magnitude , and recall […]

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