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Momentum, conservation of linear momentum problem

  1. Oct 14, 2011 #1
    A 2.1-kg cart is rolling along a frictionless, horizontal track towards a 1.4-kg cart that is held initially at rest. The carts are loaded with strong magnets that cause them to attract one another. Thus, the speed of each cart increases. At a certain instant before the carts collide, the first cart's velocity is +5.9 m/s, and the second cart's velocity is -2.0 m/s. (a) What is the total momentum of the system of the two carts at this instant? (b) What was the velocity of the first cart when the second cart was still at rest?

    P = (m1)(V1) + (m2)(V2) = (2.1)(5.9) + (1.4)(-2)
    P = 9.59 ??

    P = (m1)(V1)
    V1 = P / m1
    V1 = 9.59 / 2.1
    V1 = 4.57 ??
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2011 #2


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    Other than the units, looks good to me.
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