A Special Case

An interesting, special case of an elastic collision is a one-dimensional collision in which one of the objects is initially at rest (v2i = 0).

These results can be described by the following equations for this special case:
An interesting situation is when the two masses are equal. For m1 = m2, we find that
v1f= 0

v2f = v1i

This is illustrated with the "colliding balls" apparatus shown here, also known as "Newton's Pendulum".

Elastic Collisions

Rocket Propulsion
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(c) 2002, Doug Davis; all rights reserved