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How to calculate total momentum before and after an equation?

  1. Nov 2, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I have been working on a lab where I am doing an experiment with two carts. I have calculated the momentum of cart 1 before and after the collision, and the momentum of cart 2 before and after the collision, but then how do I get the total momentum before and after the collision?


    2. Relevant equations
    p=m*v


    3. The attempt at a solution
    Would total momentum be equal to (momentum before collision of cart 1)+(momentum before collision of cart 2)?
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2012 #2
    Yes it would, it should also equal momentum of the carts after the collision (within error)
     
  4. Nov 3, 2012 #3

    Redbelly98

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    By the way, don't forget that one of the cart's momentum will be negative if they are moving in opposite directions.
     
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