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Linear momentum questions?

  1. Nov 8, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A 500kg truck collides head on with a 400kg car. They stick together and continue traveling west at 6.00 meters per second. The truck initially travels at 13.0 meters per second. Calculate the impulse and force for the car given that the time of impact was 0.6 seconds.


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Using the Law of the Conservation of Momentum, I figured out that the car's velocity is 2.75 meters per second and that is as far as I got.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2012 #2

    haruspex

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    There's a piece of information missing. Your answer is correct if the truck was initially heading West. The other possibility is that the car was heading West, very fast, and the truck East.
    For each individual vehicle, its change in momentum is the impulse from the other.
    The impulse is the integral of force over time, so you can get the average force during the impact by dividing the impulse by the duration. But that could be quite a bit less than the peak force.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2012
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