1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Find the Distance

  1. Mar 4, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A Federation starship ( 1.90×10^6 kg) uses its tractor beam to pull a shuttlecraft ( 2.00×10^4 kg) aboard from a distance of 11.0 km away. The tractor beam exerts a constant force of 4.0 x 10^4 N on the shuttlecraft. Both spacecraft are initially at rest.

    How far does the starship move as it pulls the shuttlecraft aboard?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Where is the center of mass of the two ship system?
  4. Mar 4, 2009 #3
    It didn't specify in the problem.
  5. Mar 4, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Actually I was suggesting you figure it out.

    When the tractor beam pulls the ship on board won't the center of mass then be in the middle of the mother ship?

    By action reaction - no net external forces - how far each is before the tractor is switched on is how far they will travel then, right?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook