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Elastic Collision Calculator

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Physics, the science of matter and energy, often involves complex calculations. But don’t worry, we’re here to simplify one aspect of it – elastic collisions. An elastic collision is a type of collision where two objects bounce off each other without losing kinetic energy. To understand and predict the outcomes of such collisions, we use an “Elastic Collision Calculator.”

What is an Elastic Collision Calculator?

An Elastic Collision Calculator is a tool designed to calculate the final velocities of two objects that collide elastically. Elastic collisions are unique because, in these encounters, both momentum and kinetic energy are conserved. This calculator uses specific formulas to provide you with the final speeds of the colliding objects, making it easier to analyze and predict the dynamics of their interaction.

The Core Formulas

The calculator is based on two fundamental principles of physics: the conservation of momentum and the conservation of kinetic energy. Here are the formulas it uses:

  • Conservation of Momentum: 1×1+2×2=1×1+2×2m1​×v1i​+m2​×v2i​=m1​×v1f​+m2​×v2f
  • Conservation of Kinetic Energy: 0.5×1×12+0.5×2×22=0.5×1×12+0.5×2×220.5×m1​×v1i2​+0.5×m2​×v2i2​=0.5×m1​×v1f2​+0.5×m2​×v2f2​

From these, we derive the equations to find the final velocities (1v1f​ and 2v2f​):

  • 1=(1−2)(1+2)×1+(2×2)(1+2)×2v1f​=(m1​+m2​)(m1​−m2​)​×v1i​+(m1​+m2​)(2×m2​)​×v2i
  • 2=(2×1)(1+2)×1+(2−1)(1+2)×2v2f​=(m1​+m2​)(2×m1​)​×v1i​+(m1​+m2​)(m2​−m1​)​×v2i

Step-by-Step Example

Let’s see an example to understand how to use these formulas:

  • Given:
    • Mass of object 1 (1m1​) = 2 kg
    • Initial velocity of object 1 (1v1i​) = 3 m/s
    • Mass of object 2 (2m2​) = 3 kg
    • Initial velocity of object 2 (2v2i​) = -2 m/s (indicating direction)
  • To Find: Final velocities (1v1f​ and 2v2f​)
  • Solution:
    • Plug the given values into our formulas to calculate 1v1f​ and 2v2f​.

This example demonstrates the calculator’s functionality, helping users predict post-collision speeds based on initial conditions.

Relevant Information Table

1m1​Mass of object 1kg
1v1iInitial velocity of object 1m/s
1v1fFinal velocity of object 1m/s
2m2​Mass of object 2kg
2v2iInitial velocity of object 2m/s
2v2fFinal velocity of object 2m/s


The Elastic Collision Calculator simplifies the analysis of collisions in physics. By inputting the mass and initial velocity of two objects, users can quickly determine their speeds after an elastic collision. This tool not only aids in academic studies but also has practical applications in engineering and safety analysis, where understanding object interactions post-collision is crucial. Whether for educational purposes or practical applications, this calculator serves as a valuable resource for exploring the dynamics of elastic collisions.

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