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Physics momentum car question

  1. Aug 12, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A collision in Phystown is being analyzed by the O.P.P. accident analysis team. A 1000 kg Toyota known to be moving at 65 km/h [W] collided at an intersection with a 3000 kg SUV moving [N]. After the collision, the two vehicles "stuck" together and the police estimate that immediately after impact the Toyota-SUV wreckage moved at 45 km/h. Based on this information, what was the speed of the SUV before the collision?

    2. Relevant equations
    mv1 + mv2 = v (m1 +m2)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I just plugged in values into the equation that i was given from the question...
    (1000)(-18.1) + 3000v2 = 12.5 (4000) -> i made E and N positive

    I was just wondering if i did this right! should i do components since i have directions in y and x directions? Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2015 #2


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    Science Advisor
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    Gold Member

    You certainly should consider the components. You cannot add momenta that are in different directions.
    Apply conservation of momentum in each of the two directions separately.
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