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Physics Behind Car Crashes
Transcript of Physics Behind Car Crashes
Newton's Laws of Motion
Types of Collisions
Applies to every aspect of car accidents
Describes the motion of a body in response to forces acted upon it
The foundation of mechanics behind Physics
compiled by Isaac Newton in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica
Momentum = mass x velocity ( p = m x v )
Defined as the "quantity of motion" or "mass in motion"
A large amount of momentum can be created if an object has a large mass, high speed or a combination of both
A car with a large amount of momentum is dangerous as it will be very hard to stop
First Law of Motion: Inertia
an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.
Inertia: Strapped in seat belts
Since there is an unbalanced force acting on the car, it will not maintain its motion and will immediately decelerate to rest
The passenger will share the same state of motion as the car
The passenger and the car will decelerate as one body
The passenger will jerk forward
Inertia: Unstrapped seat belts
Due to the unbalanced force, the car will again abruptly decelerate to rest
The passenger will not share the same motion as the car
Due to Inertia the passenger will continue its state of motion
The passenger may exit the car and continue in projectile-motion depending on vehicle types
Second Law of Motion
Net Force = mass x acceleration
Without a seat belt the passenger would continue to follow Newton's first law of motion
Eventually the driver will come in contact with another object (windshield, dashboard)
The force that the driver hits that object is based off their mass and the acceleration of the car
Third Law of Motion
To every action force there is an equal and opposite reaction force.
Injuries in car accidents are a result of this law
Airbags are created to absorb the force that your body would apply on the dashboard or windshield in a car crash
Types of Collisions
Occurs when the momentum remains the same but the total kinetic energy changes before and after the collision
The two objects in the collision do not bounce away from each other
Momentum is conserved and total kinetic energy in not
Occurs when both the momentum and total kinetic energy remains the same throughout the collision
The two objects in the collision "bounce" away from each other
Momentum and total kinetic energy are conserved
Car Metal Types
Cars made of harder metals crumple less, and the time taken for the car to come to a complete stop would decrease
As time decreases, rate of deceleration becomes greater
Since opposite force = mass x deceleration, the greater rate of deceleration would apply a greater force on passengers
Inelastic Collision Elastic Collision
Car accidents are a part of our every day lives and it is important to understand the physics behind it and how it can affect your body
Newtons law's apply in car accidents and not buckling your seat belts can lead to force being applied onto your body
Different forms of collisions exists
Heavier metals are more dangerous in comparison to a crushable design