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Homework Help: Skaters and Momentum

  1. Jul 23, 2006 #1
    If two skaters are pushing away from eachother i know that their momentum will be equal but in opposite directions. However, if they have different masses (i.e. one is 60kg and another is 72kg) will that affect the momentum??


    Original question:
    Two skaters stand facing each other. One skater's mass is 60 kg, and the other's mass is 72 kg. If the skaters push away from each other without spinning,

    the lighter skater has less momentum.
    their momenta are equal but opposite.
    their total momentum doubles.
    their total momentum decreases.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2006 #2
    Try making the equations for the individuals momentum and combining these two equations with the thing you have already stated ie. "their momentum will be equal but in opposite directions."
  4. Jul 23, 2006 #3
    Im sorry but i dont really understand what you mean
  5. Jul 23, 2006 #4
    Are you aware of this:

    (delta) [tex]p = mv[/tex]?

    Write this equation for the both of the skaters and then combine them as you know that "their momentum will be equal but in opposite directions."

    If their mass differs, but ie. "their momentum will be equal but in opposite directions., what must also change to make this possible?

    Note that the latex didn't work as I wanted it to.
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