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Force and Motion

  1. Sep 24, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A car traveling at 48 km/h hits a bridge abutment. A passenger in the car moves forward a distance of 53 cm (with respect to the road) while being brought to rest by an inflated air bag. What magnitude of force (assumed constant) acts on the passenger's upper torso, which has a mass of 40 kg?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Can somebody please help me with an approach to this type of problem.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Try using conservation of energy. The car has kinetic energy and when it hits, work is done in moving the passenger 53cm into the air-bag.
  4. Sep 24, 2009 #3
    Hmm, we have not gone over kinetic energy in class yet. I'll read up on it, and post an approach and see if it's right.
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