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Homework Help: Collision Conservation of Energy

  1. Mar 4, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    An 8.00-g bullet is fired horizontally into a 9.00 kg block of wood on an air table and is embedded in it. After the collision, the block and the bulet slide along a frictionless surface together with a speed of 10cm/s. What is the initial speed of the bullet?

    M1 = 0.008kg
    M2(block)=9.00 kg
    V(total) = 0.1m/s
    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I found the total Ek after the collision 1/2(9.00kg+0.008kg)(0.1m/s)^2 = 0.04504J
    but I don't know what to do afterwards. I can solve this only with using the conservation of energy, not momentum because my teacher hasn't taught momentum yet and the yet is only on energy
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2016 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Are you sure you didn't skip the class on conservation of momentum? This is what's called an inelastic collision and energy is not conserved in such collisions. You can, in fact, use conservation of momentum to show how much energy is lost in inelastic collisions.

    In short, you need conservation of momentum to solve this problem.
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