Collisions in One DimensionIn the general case of a one-dimensional collision between two masses, one cannot anticipate how much kinetic energy will be lost in the collision. Therefore, the velocities of the two masses after the collision are not completely determined by their velocities before the collision. However, conservation of momentum must be satisfied, so that if the velocity of one of the particles after the collision is specified, the other is determined.
A suggested exploration is to set the velocity of target mass m2 equal to zero and confirm that the fraction of kinetic energy retained in the perfectly inelastic case is equal to m1/(m1 + m2). This case is of practical value in the ballistic pendulum.
Calculation notes: This calculation is designed to calculate the velocity of the target particle after the collision, assuming that the projectile velocity after the collision is specified. Default values will be entered if no data entries are made, but mass and initial velocity values can be changed.