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Conservation laws in mechanics

  1. Apr 25, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A 0.2 kg disc slides down from smooth track of height 1.8m. It arrives at a rough 1 kg block resting on a smooth surface. The friction between them is 1.2N. Find the distance travelled by the disc on the block before it comes to rest relative to the block.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    use observer frame:
    velocity=6 m/s
    then I use conservation of linear momentum, because only internal forces.
    v=1 m/s

    f=1.2N to right on the block, to left on the disc
    a of disc=-6m/s^2
    a of block= 1 m/s^2

    for the disc, v^2-u^2=2as
    s=35/12 m

    for the block,
    s=0.5 m

    so it moves 2.41 m on the surface

    but when I find the time required
    for the disc, v=u+at
    t=5/6 s

    for the block
    t= 1s

    They are different?

    I know my answer of 2.41 m must be wrong, but where is my mistakes?
    thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi chingcx! :smile:
    I don't follow this: it's not an impulsive collision :confused:
    Correct method, but check your figures.

    I'm not sure what you're doing here.

    You can either use v2 = u2 + 2as for each body, and find what s gives the same v,

    or (especially since it seems they want you to use conservation) you can use change in energy = work done (1/2 m v2 = 1/2 m u2 + Fs), which amounts to the same thing (and they give you F anyway, plus this avoids working out what a is) :wink:
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