Elementary question on car crashes and momentum

  • Thread starter Matt G
  • Start date
  • #1
Matt G
8
0
When two cars crash into one another they generally come to a stop, yet we are told momentum cannot be created or destroyed. Where did their momentum go? It seems like the kinetic energy went into the damage in the vehicles but apparently that has nothing to do with momentum?.

Thanks


Matt
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Ibix
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2022 Award
10,092
10,651
Can you write down their initial momentum? What forces are acting on the cars and what effect might they have on the momentum of the cars?
 
  • #3
Matt G
8
0
Sorry but it would just confuse me if I did. It seems like an abstract question and not one about a particular case
 
  • #4
JBA
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,542
461
Google "momentum of an object" and it will help you see the relationship
 
  • #5
Mister T
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,970
1,103
yet we are told momentum cannot be created or destroyed.
Under specified conditions.
 
  • #6
Mister T
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,970
1,103
Sorry but it would just confuse me if I did. It seems like an abstract question and not one about a particular case
If you insist on accounting for the lost momentum, this is the most meangful way of doing it.
 
  • #7
DannoXYZ
65
16
Draw it as vectors and it becomes clear...
 
  • #8
Ibix
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2022 Award
10,092
10,651
Sorry but it would just confuse me if I did. It seems like an abstract question and not one about a particular case
It may confuse you, but we can work through that. The point here is to help you solve the problem.
 

Suggested for: Elementary question on car crashes and momentum

Replies
2
Views
299
Replies
34
Views
603
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
467
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
386
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
140
Replies
19
Views
408
Replies
8
Views
591
Replies
30
Views
567
Replies
4
Views
315
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
1K
Top