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Inelastic collision

  1. Apr 9, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations
    conservation of momentum

    3. The attempt at a solution


    initially car_1 has not y momentum so

    m_1v_1x=(m_1+m_2)v cos(θ)

    and car_2 has no x momentum
    m_2v_2y=(m_1+m_2)v sin(θ)

    using algebra
    v cos(θ) = v_x = m_1v_1 /(m_1+m_2)
    v sin(θ) = v_y = m_2v_2 /(m_1+m_2)

    so v should equal the vector addition of its components v_x and v_y
    or Patagonian theorem, which was my original answer, why is it wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2016 #2


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    Science Advisor
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    Gold Member

    I believe your answer is correct, but it could be written a little more simply. The denominator can be taken outside the square root. Is it possible the software does not recognise the equivalence?
  4. Apr 9, 2016 #3
    got it, thank you!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
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