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Homework Help: Total Momentum

  1. Apr 20, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A 4.00 kg ball is moving at 3.00 m/s to the NORTH and a 5.00 kg ball is moving at 2.00 m/s to the NORTHWEST. The total momentum of the system is:

    I have a very bad book that doesn't discuss how to deal with total momentum with relationship to different directions other than head on, would just like for someone to explain the way to set up my formula to find this one.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Hi ckaiser813,

    Momentum is a vector, and it has one component for each of the three perpendicular directions. For example, here's how you find the momentum in the north direction. If ball one has a velocity v in the north direction and has mass m, and if ball two has velocity w in the north direction and mass M, then the momentum in the north direction is mv + Mw.
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