Imagine a block of wood resting on two supports at each end. You point a gun upward under the block and shoot the block upwards. One scenario is you shoot the block upwards in the exact center. Another scenario is you shoot upwards near one of the support ends. The block is thick enough that in both cases the bullet comes to rest inside the block. Question: in which case does the centre of mass of the block rise the highest? I could quantify the first case (both for velocity and distance rise of cog) using conservation of momentum and conservation of energy as follows: mu = (m+M)V 1/2(mu^2) = (m+M)gh Can somebody help me in the second case?