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Homework Help: One person pushing another

  1. Mar 9, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    An 80 kg man (A) pushes another 80kg man (B) with a force of 500N, describes what occurs.

    2. Relevant equations
    Newtons 2nd and 3rd Law ?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I suspect the answer is both men fly apart with an acceleration of (500/80) m/s2 ? But in real life I would imagine man A would stay put ???
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi pkc111! :smile:
    Answer 1:

    Are they on ice? or in space?

    Is each man standing with feet side-by-side, or in-line?

    Are their weights being supported on their heels or their toes?

    Is the force applied to B at this centre of mass?

    If this is a physics question, there's nowhere near enough information. :rolleyes:

    If it's a sociology question, I'd say they're equally matched, so there'll be a fight! :wink:

    Answer 2:

    The force is given in newtons, so it's not an impulse (which would be in newton.seconds).

    So the question must mean that the force is being applied continuously, which means that A and B must be staying together, with acceleration of … ? :smile:
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