Homework Help: Momentum and Its Conservation

1. Jan 19, 2005

Gregory

I have a problem, and I have no clue where to start- anyone have any help?

Any help would be very appreciated... I am using the formula p=mv and p(A1)=P(1)sin x (The (A1) and (1) are subscripts)

I figured out that
Car 1 (Westward)
P(A) = (v*925kg)*(sin x) (again, (A) is a subscript of p)

Car 1 (Northward)
P(A) = (v*1265kg)*(cos x) (again, (A) is a subscript of p)

but, I'm not sure if thats even correct..

I was hoping F(f)=uF(N) would be useful, as its the only forumula I could find that uses the coefficient of friction (The (f) and (N) are subscripts, the "u" stands for the coefficient of friction- I couldn't find the right symbol for it)

I have a few diagrams drawn, but other than that, I couldn't figure out how to start...

Last edited: Jan 19, 2005
2. Jan 19, 2005

Gregory

Hmm...

How would I find the velocity? I was going to use KE=1/2 mv^2; but I can't figure out KE (I'm assuming thats what was being refered to by kinematics)...

I normally wouldn't ask for this much help, but after 2 hours of staring at forumlas with no result, I must admit I'm completely lost.

And, how does the kinetic coefficent come into play in this problem?

Thanks for your help- this is advanced for what I'm learning in school, so I don't have too much background knowledge to help me out..

3. Jan 19, 2005

Parth Dave

Typically in problems, you are giving the initial conditions and you find the final. In this case, you are given the final conditions and are required to find the initial. So the best idea would be to work backwards. After the cars stuck together, what force was acting on them? Therefore, what acceleration was acting on them? If the final velocity is zero, then what must the initial velocity be? Then what must the momentum right after they hit each other (and before since it is conservered)? Compare this to your initial momentum.

4. Jan 23, 2005

iodmys

Isn't it funny that, even in physics problems, it's the women who usually get into accidents?