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*From*: Bob Sciamanda <trebor@WINBEAM.COM>*Date*: Wed, 07 Dec 2005 13:03:45 -0500

Rick remarked:

|I still think most people are missing the reason for the question about

| exactly 1/2 of the KE being transferred in a perfectly inelastic collision

| between same mass objects, one at rest.

| . . .

If you need to know just where the particular factor 1/2 comes from, it is

traceable to the exponent of the speed in our definition of kinetic energy

(KE=k*V^2). If instead we used KE = k*V^n , then we would deduce Ef =

Ei/(2^[n-1]).

The numerical results of our calculations/measurements strongly depend upon

just what quantities we chose to calculate/measure (because we found them

useful in our creation of models).

PS:

The most interesting fact underlying this discussion is: It is impossible

for an interaction between two point particles to consist soley of an

exchange of (conserved) momentum and kinetic energy. There must be an

additional degree of freedom in the form of a source/sink of

energy/momentum, even if only temporarily active. Even if the overall

interaction conserves both kinetic energy and momentum, intermediate system

states cannot all have done so. The appearance of particular numerical

values is incidental to this over-reaching observation.

A graphical exposition of the above fact is in:

"Mandated Energy Dissipation - e pluribus unum", AJP, 64,10, 1996, pg 1291.

Bob Sciamanda

Physics, Edinboro Univ of PA (Em)

http://www.winbeam.com/~trebor/

trebor@winbeam.com

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