A person with mass m is sitting on one end of a lifeboat of uniform density. Mass of lifeboat is 3m. The person then walks a distance of L to the other side of the lifeboat. Which of the following statements best characterizes the motion of the lifeboat? "
- The lifeboat shifts by the same distance traversed, but in the opposite direction of his motion.
- The lifeboat shifts by L/4 in the opposite direction of the persons motion.
- The lifeboat shifts in the same direction as the persons motion with constant velocity.
- The lifeboat does not shift forward or backward as a result of the persons motion.
The thing i want to know before applying any formulas is what is happening in the problem conceptually. Would it be the same idea if you walked on a boat that was in space, so its about no friction?
center of mass formula: x = m1x1 + m2x2 / m1m2
conservation of momentum: m1v1 = m2v2
The Attempt at a Solution
I need some explanation of what Im being asked in the problem before I apply the formulas. Thanks