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Homework Help: Average force in a collision problem

  1. Nov 14, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A 59.8kg ice skater, moving at 14 m/s crashes into a stationary skater of equal mass. After the collision, the two skaters move as a unit at 7 m/s. Suppose the average force a skater can experience without breaking a bone is 4640N. If the impact time is 0.047s, what is the magnitude of the average force each skate experiences?

    2. Relevant equations

    impulse = change in momentum
    change in momentum= m(Vf-Vi)
    impulse=Faverage(change in time)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Honestly, I'm not sure where to begin but I'll give it my best shot...

    I'm going to try this

    impulse = Faverage(change in time)

    so impulse = 4640N (.047s) = 218.08 ...I don't think thats anywhere near what this problem is asking for though...
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2007 #2

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    The change in momentum of the 1st skater is known, which is equal to impulse = Fav x time. Then you can find Fav.
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