2015 - 18th Annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium

Presentation Title

Inelastic Collapse: An infinite number of collisions in a finite time

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Brandon Bauerly, Lake Forest CollegeFollow

Location

Skybox

Abstract

We investigate a peculiar feature of a model of collisions between point particles. The model assumes that all particles move at a constant velocity between collisions, and that each collision is characterized by a constant coefficient of restitution. With these assumptions, we show that it is possible for systems of particles in one dimension to collide infinitely often in a finite time, a phenomenon known as inelastic collapse. We find the conditions on the initial velocities and the coefficient of restitution for inelastic collapse to occur for specific systems both analytically and with computer simulations.

Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

Start Date

4-7-2015 1:00 PM

End Date

4-7-2015 2:15 PM

Panel

Quantitative Methods: Walks, Collisions, and More

Panel Moderator

Stewart Foley

Field of Study for Presentation

Physics

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Apr 7th, 1:00 PM Apr 7th, 2:15 PM

Inelastic Collapse: An infinite number of collisions in a finite time

Skybox

We investigate a peculiar feature of a model of collisions between point particles. The model assumes that all particles move at a constant velocity between collisions, and that each collision is characterized by a constant coefficient of restitution. With these assumptions, we show that it is possible for systems of particles in one dimension to collide infinitely often in a finite time, a phenomenon known as inelastic collapse. We find the conditions on the initial velocities and the coefficient of restitution for inelastic collapse to occur for specific systems both analytically and with computer simulations.