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Homework Help: Conservation of Momentum, a Totally Inelastic Collision

  1. Dec 3, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A 950kg compact car is moving with the velocity ⃗v1 = 32 ˆx + 17 ˆy m/s. It
    skids on an icy, frictionless patch and collides with a 450kg hay wagon
    moving with velocity ⃗v2 = 12ˆx +14ˆy m/s. If the two stay together,
    what is their velocity?

    2. Relevant equations

    m1v1 (initial) + m2v2 (initial) = vf (m1+ m2)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I realize this is a totally inelastic collision and I need to use the above equation to solve. However, I don't know how to change the vector components into a number that can be plugged into the formula. I have tried adding the vector components of both velocities (x+x, y+y) but the answers I am getting do not sound right. I tried doing this because I figured if I know the numbers for the masses I can factor them out and have the vectors being added to together, but I don't think this is the solution. Please help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Show your calculations. Try this one.
    m1*v1x + m2*v2x = (m1+m2)*vfx.
    Similarly for y components.
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