PhysicsLAB AP Free Response Question
2008 B1

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Several students are riding in bumper cars at an amusement park. The combined mass of car A and its occupants is 250 kg. The combined mass of car B and its occupants is 200 kg. Car A is 15 m away from car B and moving to the right at 2.0 m/s, as shown, when the driver decides to bump into car B, which is at rest.
 (a) Car A accelerates at 1.5 m/s2 to a speed of 5.0 m/s and then continues at constant velocity until it strikes car B. Calculate the total time for car A to travel the 15 m.

(b) After the collision, car B moves to the right at a speed of 4.8 m/s.
 i. Calculate the speed of car A after the collision.

ii. Indicate the direction of motion of car A after the collision.
___ to the left       ___ to the right      ___ none, car A is at rest

 (c) Is this an elastic collision? Justify your answer.

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