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Conservation on momentum

  1. Dec 2, 2007 #1
    1. When two carts collide, is momentum conserved at each instant before, during and after the collision?

    2. If the carts are of equal mass what happens to their individual momenta during
    and after the collision?

    3. What about the case in which one cart is twice as massive as the
    other?

    4. Also, the case in which the two carts stick together after the collision.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2007 #2

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    1. The total momentum of the sytem is conserved at each instant.

    2. During the collision, there is deformation in the bodies and it is not possible to say which body has how much of the total momentum without actually studying the process of collision in great detail. The only thing we can say that the total momentum remains the same at each instant.

    3. Nothing special. Without knowing the co-efficient of restitution, we can't say anything.

    4. We may calculate how much of the KE is lost. Again, the momentum of the resulting body is equal to the sum of the momenta of the two bodies initially.
     
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