Collisions are represented by matrices that relate final velocities to initial velocities. A matrix is presented that describes head-on collisions of two simple pendulums with a common support, assuming small displacements between collisions. This matrix is related to the matrices that describe bouncing superballs, supershells, and supercylinders whose translational velocity is restricted to a plane. Eigenvalue problems for superballs are then presented and solved for a variety of physical situations.

This content is only available via PDF.
AAPT members receive access to the American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.