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Homework Help: Linear Momentum question help please!

  1. Dec 13, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Consider a one-dimensional interaction of two bodies with equal masses m. The
    interaction is governed by a conservative force. The linear momentum of one of the bodies is equal to p1 = Pexp(-kx) and that of other body is equal to p0 at (infinity). Find the potential energy as a function of distance x between these bodies (the potential is equal to zero at infinity). Determine the force acting between the bodies.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I don't even know where to begin :( I don't know what exp means. I'm assuming the collision is elastic because it says that the interaction is governed by a conservative force. I guess there's something to do with limits because of the 'infinity' clue? I can't find anything relevant in my textbook (Giancoli Physics for Scientists and Engineers volume 4) Any help is appreciated, thank you!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2011 #2
    I don't know how to solve the problem, but Pexp(-kx) would probably mean P^(-kX). (P raised to the negative kx). K should be some kind of constant, while x is most likely the distance between the objects, or some other form of variable distance.

    Sorry I can't help more, but that should at least give you a hint as to what you're supposed to be working towards.
     
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