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Collision Course:

Elastic and Inelastic Collisions


Corina Bot, PhD (NJIT, C2PRISM)
Keri Salvador (NJIT, C2PRISM)
Caroline Savio (ESHS, NPS)

Career Day
May 11th, 2010
Outline of Presentation

 About Collision Course Applet

 Lesson Plan in Conjunction with Applet

 Conclusion and Questions


Concepts Behind Collision Course Applet

 Used to distinguish elastic and inelastic collisions

 Conservation of momentum
Elastic collision
Conservation of momentum
m1v1i  m2v2i  m1v1 f  m2v2 f
v1i  v2i  v1 f  v2 f 
momentum before collision = momentum after collision

results before = results after


Inelastic collision
Conservation of momentum
m1v1i  m2v 2i  m1  m2  v f
momentum before collision = momentum after collision



results before = results after


Introduction to Collision Course Applet

 Designed by C2PRISM Fellow Corina Bot, PhD.


 Dr. Bot interviewed six Advanced Placement Physics students
at once via focus-group .

 Students really liked the idea of acquiring a


physics concept shaped as a game.
Features of Collision Course Applet

 Multiple choice question game


 Takes place in neutral setting
 Player chooses which car to drive
 Contains sound effects
 Visible damage in the cars after collisions
 Cartoon policeman assigns ticket at collision scene
 Player must distinguish whether collision was elastic or inelastic

 A correct answer -> policeman gives you points and your ticket is
void
 An incorrect answer -> policeman gives you a ticket and you lose
points
Specifics on Applet Creation

 Java applet developed by software engineer students


at NJIT

 Flash software/plug-in required

 PC and Mac OS Compatible


Outline of Presentation

 Lesson Plan in Conjunction with Applet


Lesson Plan in Conjunction with Applet

 Engagement and Assessment

 Ideally, students work independently on applet using


computers in lab classroom.
 If there are not enough computers in classroom, work in pairs.
 Or perform applet in computer lab instead of physics lab.

 Formative Check
 The applet consists of multiple choice questions that evaluate
the student’s understanding of types of collisions.
Lesson Plan in Conjunction with Applet

 Some practice problems


 Mario and Luigi on Bumper Cars

 The physics classroom


 http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/momentum/u4l2d.c
fm
Elastic collision
Input: m1 = 300 kg
m2 = 400 kg
v1i = 20 km/h
v2i = 0 km/h Momentum
is conserved!
Calculate: v1f =? v2f = ?
Solution Inputs: m1 = 300 kg
m1v1i  m2 v2 i  m1v1 f  m2 v2 f (1)
m2 = 400 kg
v1i = 20 km/h
v1i  v2 i  v1 f  v2 f  ( 2) v2i = 0 km/h
Substitute values given in problem into equation (1):
km Calculate: v1f=? v2f = ?
300kg  20  0  300kg  v1 f  400kg  v2 f
h
km
6000kg   300kg  v1 f  400kg  v2 f (3)
h
Substitute values given in problem into equation (2):
 0  v1 f  v2 f 
km
20
h
km
v2 f  v1 f  20 ( 4)
h
Substitute equation (4) in equation (3):
km  km 
6000kg   300kg  v1 f  400kg   v1 f  20 
h  h 
km km
6000kg   300kg  v1 f  400kg  v1 f  8000kg 
h h
km
 2000kg   700kg  v1 f
h
 2000 km km
v1 f   2.85
700 h h
km km km km
v2 f  v1 f  20  2.85  20  17.14
h h h h
Inelastic collision
Input: m1 = 300 kg
m2 = 400 kg
v1i = 20 km/h Momentum
v2i = 0 km/h is conserved!
Calculate: vf = ?
Calculate: momentum before & after collision
Solution Inputs: m1 = 300 kg
m2 = 400 kg
v1i = 20 km/h
m1v1i  m2v2i  m1  m2   v f v2i = 0 km/h

 0  300kg  400kg   v f
km
300kg  20 Calculate: vf=?
h
km
6000kg   700kg  v f
h
6000 km km
vf   8.57
700 h h
momentum before collision = momentum after collision
m1v1i  m2 v2i  m1  m2   v f

 0  300kg  400kg   8.57


km km
300kg  20
h h
km km
6000kg   5999kg 
h h
Conclusions

 Many senses engaged in learning process


 Group discussion with class
 Group instruction with visual demonstration

 Independent work on applet and on practice problems

 Paired work (optional)

 Students will qualitatively and quantitatively


distinguish elastic from inelastic collisions.
Questions?

Thank You!