Carbon Steel as an Interstitial Alloy and How its Chemical Structure Contributes to Elasticity of Collisions

Background

Back when our high school physics class was learning about elastic and inelastic collisions with the conservation of momentum, I noticed that a disproportionate number of the practice problems we were assigned that had to do with elastic collisions involved steel. Obviously, when we think of steel we think of its “hardness.” It is used in a lot of heavy-duty construction, after all.

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An example of a physics problem with steel assigned via WebAssign.

It just so happened that at precisely this time, we were learning about alloys in chemistry, and I remembered specifically my teacher talking about steel being an alloy of iron and carbon. Thus, I had a little flicker of inspiration and decided to connect the two and make a little presentation for my physics class. An added bonus? A little bit of extra credit. Continue reading Carbon Steel as an Interstitial Alloy and How its Chemical Structure Contributes to Elasticity of Collisions