1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

GRE Momentum question debate

  1. Sep 28, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    http://grephysics.net/ans/0177/55

    The question hasn't been typed up yet but it's pretty basic. A particle of mass m runs into a particle of mass 2m. After the collision, the particle with m is at rest and the particle of mass 2m has split into two particles each with mass that have both y and x components to their velocity, separated by θ.

    If you look at the people that commented on this question there seems to be a bit of debate. One quite intelligent and confident poster wrote that the velocity in the x direction for each particle is equal to v/2, since the initial velocity was v and horizontal momentum must be conserved. Another poster wrote that the x component of velocity for each particle does NOT equal v/2 because they aren't moving along the x-axis.

    Who is correct and why?

    Thanks Physics Forums!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2013 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    A full statement of the problem would help. The angle θ is the angle between the two split particles or is the angle they both make with the original direction of the first particle (as one comment assumed)?

    Why couldn't the x-components be v/3 and 2v/3? Unless the split is symmetric.

    I don't know what that is supposed to mean. I assume that the x-axis is the direction of motion of the first particle.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: GRE Momentum question debate
  1. GRE scores question (Replies: 6)

Loading...