Collision Lab

Dave Nero


Link to Simulation (requires flash) This simulation shows 1-D and 2-D collisions that can be completely elastic, completely inelastic, or anything in between.
  1. What does the "Elasticity" parameter seem to do?
  2. Can you make one of the objects stop when the collision is completely elastic? What settings did you need?
  3. What about if the collision is completely inelastic?
  4. Turn on the center of mass. Just by looking at the motion of the center of mass, can you tell when there's been a collision?
  5. The "Advanced" scenario allows for 2-D collisions. Is momentum conserved in both directions (horizontal and vertical)? How does the center of mass move?
Credits: PhET Interactive Simulations University of Colorado Boulder