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Illustration Head-on Elastic Collision Between Light and Heavy Ball at Rest

Head-on Elastic Collision Between Light and Heavy Ball at Rest
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Head-on elastic collision of two balls. Before the collision, the first (red) ball has the velocity \(v_1 = 0\), which means: the ball is at rest. The second (blue) ball has the velocity \(v_2\) to the left. The mass \(m_2\) of the second ball is negligible compared to the mass \(m_1\) of the first ball.

The two balls collide head-on. The first heavy ball hardly moves, i.e. its velocity after the collision is: \(v'_1 \approx 0\). The second light ball bounces off the heavy ball and flies with the same speed in the opposite direction: \(v'_2 \approx v_2\).