Homework Help: How to calculate total momentum before and after an equation?

1. Nov 2, 2012

seallen

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. Nov 2, 2012

Eats Dirt

Yes it would, it should also equal momentum of the carts after the collision (within error)

3. Nov 3, 2012

Redbelly98

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