Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Detail Page

Item Picture
Two Particle Elastic Collision Model
written by Fu-Kwun Hwang and Wolfgang Christian
edited by Robert Mohr
This interactive simulation allows students to explore two-dimensional elastic collision between hard disks in an isolated system. The user can modify the mass, position and velocity of each disk using sliders.  Both disks are draggable, allowing students to set up one-dimensional and two-dimensional collisions. A checkbox option will pause the simulation at the moment of collision, and then display arrows showing the momenta of each disk immediately before AND after the collision. Red arrows depict the change in momentum resulting from the collision. The instructions explain how to set up equations to calculate both the total energy and total momentum of the system after the collision.

See related materials for a link to a simpler Easy Java Simulation that models a one-dimensional collision.
See Annotations for an editor-recommended tutorial on momentum and its conservation.

This resource is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.   In order to modify the simulation (and see how it is designed), users must install the Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool. SEE RELATED MATERIALS for a link to install the EJS modeling tool.

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java (JRE).
1 source code document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Linear Momentum
= Collisions in Two Dimensions
= Conservation of Linear Momentum
= Impulse
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
= Model
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!

Intended Users:
Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a GNU General Public License Version 3 license.
Rights Holder:
Fu-Kwun Huang and Wolfgang Christian
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 2, 2008 by Wolfgang Christian
Record Updated:
June 13, 2014 by Andreu Glasmann
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.
  • 9-12: 4F/H4. Whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
The Physics Classroom: Law of Momentum Conservation (Editor: Caroline Hall)
Date: 07/08/2010

This chapter of The Physics Classroom tutorial has six sections that offer in-depth support in understanding momentum conservation, especially in isolated systems. Students will review the Law of Action-Reaction, explore both impulse and collision, and interactively practice using related equations for problem-solving. Many practical examples are given, alongside diagrams, drawings, and animations.\

The Physics Classroom: The Law of Momentum Conservation (html)

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
F. Hwang and W. Christian, Computer Program TWO PARTICLE ELASTIC COLLISION MODEL (2008), WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8373&DocID=921).
F. Hwang and W. Christian, Computer Program TWO PARTICLE ELASTIC COLLISION MODEL (2008), <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8373&DocID=921>.
APA Format
Hwang, F., & Christian, W. (2008). Two Particle Elastic Collision Model [Computer software]. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8373&DocID=921
Chicago Format
Hwang, Fu-Kwun, and Wolfgang Christian. "Two Particle Elastic Collision Model." https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8373&DocID=921 (accessed 21 June 2024).
MLA Format
Hwang, Fu-Kwun, and Wolfgang Christian. Two Particle Elastic Collision Model. Computer software. 2008. Java (JRE) 1.5. 21 June 2024 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8373&DocID=921>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Fu-Kwun Hwang and Wolfgang Christian", Title = {Two Particle Elastic Collision Model}, Year = {2008} }
Refer Export Format

%A Fu-Kwun Hwang %A Wolfgang Christian %T Two Particle Elastic Collision Model %E Robert Mohr, (ed) %D 2008 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8373&DocID=921 %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program %A Hwang, Fu-Kwun %A Christian, Wolfgang %D 2008 %T Two Particle Elastic Collision Model %E Mohr, Robert %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8373&DocID=921

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

This resource is stored in 20 shared folders.

You must login to access shared folders.

Two Particle Elastic Collision Model:

Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Two Particle Elastic Collision Model.

relation by Wolfgang Christian
Covers the Same Topic As Collisions in One Dimension Model

This is a less advanced model of two objects colliding, in which the motion is confined to a single line.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: Isolated Systems

Know of another related resource? Login to relate this resource to it.
Save to my folders



Related Materials

Similar Materials