## 2017 - 20th Annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium

#### Presentation Title

Inelastic Collapse: Simple Physics Leads to Infinite Collisions

#### Location

Meyer Auditorium

#### Abstract

In general physics courses, students study collisions between two objects. In every such collision total momentum is conserved. In inelastic collisions, the kinetic energy is not conserved. The loss of kinetic energy is characterized by the coefficient of restitution. In systems with more than two particles, there is the possibility of multiple collisions, each one governed by the same laws learned in general physics. Surprisingly, there exist simple model systems which experience an infinite number of collisions in a finite time. This phenomenon is known as inelastic collapse. This thesis project considers systems of four point particles moving in one dimension with inelastic collisions between the particles. We will present results of computer simulations and analytical work to determine the initial conditions and coefficient of restitution necessary for inelastic collapse in these systems.

#### Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

#### Start Date

4-11-2017 10:30 AM

#### End Date

4-11-2017 11:45 AM

#### Panel

Scientific Studies

#### Panel Moderator

Nilam Shah

#### Field of Study for Presentation

Physics

No downloadable materials are available for this event.

Inelastic Collapse: Simple Physics Leads to Infinite Collisions

Meyer Auditorium

In general physics courses, students study collisions between two objects. In every such collision total momentum is conserved. In inelastic collisions, the kinetic energy is not conserved. The loss of kinetic energy is characterized by the coefficient of restitution. In systems with more than two particles, there is the possibility of multiple collisions, each one governed by the same laws learned in general physics. Surprisingly, there exist simple model systems which experience an infinite number of collisions in a finite time. This phenomenon is known as inelastic collapse. This thesis project considers systems of four point particles moving in one dimension with inelastic collisions between the particles. We will present results of computer simulations and analytical work to determine the initial conditions and coefficient of restitution necessary for inelastic collapse in these systems.