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Tennisball bouncing on wall - momentum

  1. Sep 25, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A tennis ball (m  0.2 kg) is thrown at a brick wall. It is
    traveling horizontally at 12 m/s just before hitting the
    wall and rebounds from the wall at 8 m/s, still traveling
    horizontally. The ball is in contact with the wall for 0.04 s.
    What is the magnitude of the average force of the wall on
    the ball?

    2. Relevant equations
    P=mV
    FΔt=ΔmV


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I didn't even know where to begin to I went to the solutions manual which did this:

    [-(0.2kg)(8ms)-(0.2kg)(12ms)] / 0.04s = -100N; magnitude would be 100

    Where the crap is the negative sign coming from?!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2012 #2

    Sum

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    Hi Feodalherren, the -ve sign tells u that the 100N force exerted by the wall to the ball is in the opposite direction. Its a consequence of newton's 3rd law of motion.
     
  4. Sep 26, 2012 #3
    In that case, why are both of the terms negative?
     
  5. Sep 26, 2012 #4

    Sum

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    Only the reverse velocity should be -ve. It seems the method used in ur manual is unclear. This might help:
    f=ma=m(v-u)/t
    with m=0.2kg, u=12m/s, v=-8m/s & t=0.04s
    substitute in the equation:
    f=0.2(-8-12)/0.04=-100N
     
  6. Sep 26, 2012 #5
    That actually didn't help at all :(. Can somebody clarify why there are two negative signs? I have test tomorrow and I need to get this down.
     
  7. Sep 26, 2012 #6
    I also had another question,
    If an apple were placed in orbit at the same distance from
    Earth as the Moon, what acceleration would the apple have?

    How can the acceleration be the same if F=ma gives us a = F/m
    which says that acceleration IS dependent on mass....?!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  8. Sep 26, 2012 #7
    And another, related to the first one:
    How would the Sun’s gravitational force on Earth change
    if Earth had one-half its present mass? Would Earth’s
    acceleration change?

    I still don't understand why acceleration doesn't change if f=ma implies it. And I've read all about Galileo's experiment. Why doesn't a=F/m make any sense in this case?
     
  9. Sep 27, 2012 #8

    Sum

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    if u cant get the obvious, then no one would help u. even angels cant make u understand! open ur eyes!
     
  10. Sep 27, 2012 #9
    You were just doing exactly the same thing as the book. You put two negatives in there without explaining why... Why for an example isn't it -8+12?

    ps. There are no angels.
     
  11. Sep 27, 2012 #10

    Sum

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    i didn't imply that angels exist!
    That apart, i beleave you know that velocity is a vector (size & direction). In ur case the initial velocity (when the ball is moving toward the wall) is u=12m/s. The final velocity (ball moving away from the wall after being reflected/bounced, this velocity is -ve since it is in the opposite direction), v=-8m/s
    u know that f=ma & a=(v-u)/t=(-8-12)/0.04=-500
    now f=ma=-500*0.2
    hope u get
     
  12. Sep 28, 2012 #11
    Now I did get it. Thank you!
     
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