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Elastic collision of unequal masses

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

You roll a basketball and a bowling ball directly towards each other at the same speed. Predict what will happen to each after the two collide.


Let’s assume that this is an “elastic collision of unequal masses” (see, which will help you visualize this). Let’s also assume that the weight of the basketball is 1 pound and the weight of the bowling ball is 2 pounds, and that the basket ball is traveling from east to west at a speed (v) of 9 miles per hour, and the bowling ball is traveling west to east at 9 miles per hour.

After the collision the bowling ball reverse direction and travel at 3 miles per hour, and the basketball will reverse direction and travel at 15 miles per hour.

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