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Last Updated 03/22/12

Collision with Variable Velocities and Coefficient of Restitution
of Two Particles

To reference this educational web simulation according to the APA style for Web references, use: Lizdas D, Lampotang S, (2003): Physics Simulation of Collision of Two Particles. Retrieved <insert date of retrieval here>, from University of Florida Department of Anesthesiology Virtual Anesthesia Machine Web site: /physics/collisionphysics.html

In this model-driven physics simulation, users can adjust the initial positions of two particles by clicking and dragging the particles.  The velocity of each particle can also be adjusted by dragging the arrowheads for each particle’s velocity vector.  To make the particles collide, make the tips of the arrowheads touch. 


Click to run simulation

The coefficient of restitution of the collision is user-adjustable via a slider bar.  The coordinates are remapped after collision to a coordinate system that is normal and tangential to the plane of collision. The normal and tangent component vectors are displayed.  The tangential components remain unchanged while there is conservation of linear momentum on the normal components.  Finally the resultant velocity vectors for each particle are generated.