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Momentum with billards balls.

  1. Oct 29, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Two billiards balls of equal mass move at right angles and meet at the origin of an xy coordinate system. One is moving upward along the y axis at 2.0 m/s, and the other is moving to the right along the x axis with speed 3.7 m/s. After the collision( assumed elastic), the second ball is moving along the positive y axis. What is the final direction of the first ball, and what are the two speeds?

    2. Relevant equations
    it is elastic so
    P1+P2=P1final+P2final
    mass is constant so it cancels
    V1+V2=V1final+V2final



    3. The attempt at a solution
    i got 5.7=V1final+V2final
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2011 #2
    A couple of things that might help:

    Since the collision is elastic, kinetic energy is conserved.
    The problem is in two dimensions! Remember momentum is a vector quantity. (Can you just add the initial velocities to give 5.7ms^-1 as you have done?)
     
  4. Oct 29, 2011 #3
    i did the KE+KE=KEf+KEf
    I ended up with basically the same thing only the magnitude is squared. would the first ball come to rest and give ball 2 all its energy? that would mean that ball 2 would have a vfinal of 5.7 m/s. would that work? im studying for a big test monday in AP Physics and this question has me beat.
     
  5. Oct 29, 2011 #4
    You missed my second point. Since the collision is in two dimensions, you have two equations for conservation of linear momentum- one in the x-direction, and one in the y-direction.
    Of course KE is only concerned with the magnitude of the velocity, so there is no need to resolve your KE equation into components.
     
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