I have been working at this physics concept the entire day, my teacher couldn't seem to answer it or understand what I was asking.
My question was: When two objects are flying along at X m/h and collide, since Newton's 3rd law says that every force must have an equal and opposite reaction force, why is the repulsion between objects not instantaneous?
My teacher has used the "balloon analogy" to convey interactions between molecules. Two balloons come together and with sufficient KE overcome the repulsion of the electrons and scrunch together (this may or may not tie into my Topic "Alignment" which considers the collisions of molecules).
My question to his balloon analogy was always, how can the balloons even squish together if there is equal and opposite forces acting on both balloons to repel them?
After a while it occurred to me that inertia and mass could play a role. If inertia is an object's resistance to change in motion, and that this resistance changes with changes in mass.. could it be that the reason that objects continue moving towards each other (for a little bit) without being instantly repulsed, is because of a body's sluggishness in change in motion? Would it be reasonable to assume that the objects only repulse each other after the forces have overcome inertia?
Course I have not yet covered momentum, so this may explain my apparent ignorance, but this is a definite stumbling block right now in my study of dynamics..
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.