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Conservation of momentum query

  1. May 14, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    If two objects of mass m1, m2 and velocity u1, u2 traveling along the same path collide and combine the total momentum before collision is equal to the total momentum after collision. But if one object collides at an angle of say 30o to the other how will this affect your calculation.


    2. Relevant equations

    m1.u1+m2.u2=m1+2.v2

    3. The attempt at a solution
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2009 #2

    PhanthomJay

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    Hint: Momentum is a vector quantity; as such, it can have x and y components. What are your thoughts on this?
     
  4. May 14, 2009 #3
    As momentum is a vector quantity, if I get the x and y components of object (a) and object (b) and find the resultant, I guess this will be equal to the total momentum? The question i am attempting wants me to find the velocity of the combined objects after collision, I figure this should be straight forward m1u1+m2u2/m1+2=vtotal but what i am having difficulty comprehending is will the angle of 30o have any affect at all on the final velocity? the answer seems to suggest so, but i can't see how
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  5. May 14, 2009 #4

    PhanthomJay

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    Try [tex] (m_1u_1_x + m_2u_2_x)/(m_1 + m_2) = V_x [/tex] , and do the same in the y direction to get [tex]V_y[/tex], then calculate the resultant velocity.
     
  6. May 14, 2009 #5
    Thank you, that seemed to work perfectly
     
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