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Introduction to Collisions
Learning Goal: To understand how to find the velocities of particles after a collision.
There are two main types of collisions that you will study: elastic and perfectly inelastic. In
an elastic collision, kinetic energy is conserved. In a perfectly inelastic collision, the particles
stick together and thus have the same velocity after the collision. There is actually a range
of collision types, with elastic and perfectly inelastic at the extreme ends. These extreme
cases are easier to solve than the in-between cases.
In this problem, we will look at one of these in-between cases after first working through
some basic calculations related to elastic and perfectly inelastic collisions.

Let two particles of equal mass collide. Particle 1 has initial velocity , directed to the
right, and particle 2 is initially stationary.

Part A
If the collision is elastic, what are the final velocities and of particles 1 and 2?

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Conservation of momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Conservation of energy


Hint not displayed

Give the velocity of particle 1 followed by the velocity of particle 2,


separated by a comma. Express each velocity in terms of .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part B

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Now suppose that the collision is perfectly inelastic. What are the velocities and of
the two particles after the collision?

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Conservation of momentum


Hint not displayed

Give the velocity of particle 1 followed by the velocity of particle 2,


separated by a comma. Express the velocities in terms of .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part C
Now assume that the mass of particle 1 is , while the mass of particle 2 remains . If
the collision is elastic, what are the final velocities and of particles 1 and 2?

Hint C.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint C.2 Conservation of momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint C.3 Conservation of energy


Hint not displayed

Give the velocity of particle 1 followed by the velocity of particle 2,


separated by a comma. Express the velocities in terms of .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Note that in both the conservation of momentum equation and the conservation of
energy equation, cancels out. This is a general feature of many collision situations:
The ratio of the two masses is important, but the absolute masses are not.

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Part D
Let the mass of particle 1 be and the mass of particle 2 be . If the collision is
perfectly inelastic, what are the velocities of the two particles after the collision?

Hint D.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint D.2 Conservation of momentum


Hint not displayed

Give the velocity of particle 1 followed by the velocity of particle 2,


separated by a comma. Express the velocities in terms of .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

This applet shows two disks colliding. The orange disk has always the same initial velocity.
You can change the ratio of the masses of the two disks and the elasticity of the
collision. You should try the four different settings corresponding to Parts A through D. An
elastic collision has elasticity , and a perfectly inelastic collision has elasticity .

Part E
What qualitative change takes place as the ratio of the mass of the blue disk to the mass
of the orange disk, , increases from 0.3 to 4.0? Set the elasticity to 1.0 for a perfectly
elastic collision.

ANSWER: The final speed of the orange disk decreases as the


ratio of masses increases.
As the ratio increases past 1.0, the final velocity of the
orange disk changes direction.
The difference in final velocities between the disks
decreases.
The difference in final velocities between the disks
increases.
Correct

Most real collisions are somewhere between elastic and perfectly inelastic. This is

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indicated by the elasticity of the collision, which measures the difference in the
velocities of the particles after the collision compared with the difference in velocities
before the collision. For instance, in a perfectly inelastic collision, the two particles stick
together after colliding. The elasticity of such a collision is , because the difference
in velocities between the particles is 0 after they collide.
Technically, the elasticity is defined by the relation , where
and are the initial and final velocities of particle 1, and and are the initial and
final velocities of particle 2. In this problem, the formula is simplified by our definition of
and the hypothesis . So, using for the final velocity of particle 1 and
for the final velocity of particle 2, we obtain the simpler formula .
This final form will be most useful to you in solving Part F.

Part F
If the two particles with equal masses collide with elasticity , what are the
final velocities of the particles? Assume that particle 1 has initial velocity and particle 2 is
initially at rest. Look at the applet to be sure that your answer is reasonable.

Hint F.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Give the velocity of particle 1 followed by the velocity of particle 2,


separated by a comma. Express the velocities in terms of .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Notice that if you look back at your answers to Parts A and C, the diference between
and is always , as you would expect from setting in the definition of
elasticity. It is possible, though it takes some algebra, to prove that the definition of
elasticity with implies conservation of energy.
This applet is the same as the previous one, but now you are given a graph of the
momentum for each disk at the bottom. Run a few of the collisions that you have
studied in this problem so that you can see how the momenta of the two disks change
with differing elasticities and mass ratios.
Also in this applet you can have the two disks collide off-center. While this looks
much more complicated, the law of conservation of momentum still always applies.
With a modification to make it more precise for two- and three-dimensional collisions,
the definition of elasticity still applies as well.

PSS 8.1 Conservation of Momentum

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Learning Goal: To practice Problem-Solving Strategy 8.1 Conservation of Momentum.


Protecting his nest, a 600- peregrine falcon rams a marauding 1.5- raven in midair. The
falcon is moving at 20.0 , and the raven at 9.00 at the moment of impact. The
falcon strikes the raven at right angles to the raven's direction of flight and rebounds straight
back with a speed of 5.00 . By what angle does the impact change the raven's direction
of motion?

Problem-Solving Strategy: Conservation of momentum


IDENTIFY the relevant concepts:
First, decide whether momentum is conserved – that is, whether the vector sum of the
external forces acting on the system is zero. If it isn't, you can't use conservation of
momentum.
SET UP the problem using the following steps:
1. Define a coordinate system. Often it's easiest to point the x axis in the direction of one of
the initial velocities. Make sure you are using an inertial frame of reference.
2. Draw "before" and "after" sketches, treating each body as a particle. Draw vectors for
known velocities, and indicate all other given information. We usually use capital letters to
label each particle and subscripts 1 and 2 for initial and final velocities, respectively.
3. Identify your target variable(s).
EXECUTE the solution as follows:
1. Write an equation in symbols equating the total initial x component of momentum (i.e.,
before the interaction) to the total final x component of momentum (i.e., after the
interaction), using for each particle. Do the same for the initial and final y
components, if needed. Be careful with signs!
2. Solve your equation(s) for the desired unknown variables. You may need to convert
from velocity components to magnitudes and directions, or vice versa.
3. In some problems, energy considerations give additional relationships among the
various velocities.
EVALUATE your answer:
Does your answer make physical sense?

IDENTIFY the relevant concepts


Each bird is acted on by four external forces: The air exerts lift, thrust, and drag forces on
the wings and body, and the earth exerts weight. The forces that the birds exert on each
other are internal to the system. During the collision, the forces that the birds exert on
each other are much larger than any net external force on either bird. Since external
forces acting on the birds are negligibly small compared to the internal forces of the
collision, you can treat the birds' momentum as conserved during the collision.

SET UP the problem using the following steps

Part A

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You must define your coordinate axes. Which of the choices shown in the figure is the
most convenient set of axes for this problem?

ANSWER:
Set B
Correct

Part B
Now, use the diagram below to draw before-and-after sketches for the collision. The dots
represent the raven (R) and the falcon (F). Assume that the raven is initially flying in the
x direction.
Add vectors representing the initial and final velocities of both birds (four vectors total).
You will have to estimate the raven's final velocity; any reasonable guess will be accepted.
Draw the vectors starting at the appropriate black dots. The location,
orientation and length of the vectors will be graded.

ANSWER:

View
All attempts used; correct answer
displayed

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When you draw an actual sketch for a problem like this, you should include known
values (in this case, the birds' masses and speeds) and the quantities you may need,
including any components. Your real diagram might look like this:

Note that and are the x and y components of the raven's final velocity.

EXECUTE the solution as follows

Part C
By what angle does the falcon change the raven's direction of motion?

Hint C.1 Determine how to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint C.2 The signs of the velocities


Hint not displayed

Hint C.3 Find an expression for the x component of the raven's final
velocity
Hint not displayed

Hint C.4 Find an expression for the y component of the raven's final
velocity
Hint not displayed

Express your answer in degrees to three significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 48.0
Correct

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EVALUATE your answer

Part D
Your answer says that the raven is deflected through 48 by a falcon that weighs a bit less
than half as much but that is moving roughly twice as fast before the collision. Is this
answer physically plausible? To decide, classify the following idealized collisions
according to the angle by which particle A would be deflected.
Drag the appropriate items to their respective bins.

ANSWER:

View
Correct

We see that your answer is physically reasonable. The magnitude of the falcon's
initial momentum is actually slightly less than that of the raven, so if the birds stuck
together, the deflection would be less than 45 . The raven's actual deflection is
greater than 45 because the falcon bounces back.

The Impulse-Momentum Theorem


Learning Goal: To learn about the impulse-momentum theorem and its applications in
some common cases.
Using the concept of momentum, Newton's second law can be rewritten as
, (1)

where is the net force acting on the object, and is the rate at which the object's

momentum is changing.
If the object is observed during an interval of time between times and , then integration
of both sides of equation (1) gives

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. (2)

The right side of equation (2) is simply the change in the object's momentum . The
left side is called the impulse of the net force and is denoted by . Then equation (2) can
be rewritten as
.
This equation is known as the impulse-momentum theorem. It states that the change in an
object's momentum is equal to the impulse of the net force acting on the object. In the case
of a constant net force acting along the direction of motion, the impulse-momentum
theorem can be written as
. (3)
Here , , and are the components of the corresponding vector quantities along the
chosen coordinate axis. If the motion in question is two-dimensional, it is often useful to
apply equation (3) to the x and y components of motion separately.

The following questions will help you learn to apply the impulse-momentum theorem to the
cases of constant and varying force acting along the direction of motion. First, let us
consider a particle of mass moving along the x axis. The net force is acting on the
particle along the x axis. is a constant force.

Part A
The particle starts from rest at . What is the magnitude of the momentum of the
particle at time ? Assume that .

Express your answer in terms of any or all of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part B

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The particle starts from rest at . What is the magnitude of the velocity of the
particle at time ? Assume that .

Express your answer in terms of any or all of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part C
The particle has momentum of magnitude at a certain instant. What is , the
magnitude of its momentum seconds later?

Express your answer in terms of any or all of , , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part D
The particle has momentum of magnitude at a certain instant. What is , the
magnitude of its velocity seconds later?

Express your answer in terms of any or all of , , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Let us now consider several two-dimensional situations.


A particle of mass is moving in the positive x direction at speed . After a certain
constant force is applied to the particle, it moves in the positive y direction at speed .

Part E

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Find the magnitude of the impulse delivered to the particle.

Hint E.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint E.2 Find the change in momentum


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of and . Use three significant figures in


the numerical coefficient.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part F

Which of the vectors below best represents the direction of the impulse vector ?

ANSWER: 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Correct

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Part G

What is the angle between the positive y axis and the vector as shown in the figure?

ANSWER: 26.6 degrees


30 degrees
60 degrees
63.4 degrees

Correct

Part H
If the magnitude of the net force acting on the particle is , how long does it take the
particle to acquire its final velocity, in the positive y direction?

Express your answer in terms of , , and . If you use a numerical


coefficient, use three significant figures.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

So far, we have considered only the situation in which the magnitude of the net force
acting on the particle was either irrelevant to the solution or was considered constant. Let
us now consider an example of a varying force acting on a particle.

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Part I
A particle of mass kilograms is at rest at seconds. A varying force
is acting on the particle between seconds and
seconds. Find the speed of the particle at seconds.

Hint I.1 Use the impulse-momentum theorem


Hint not displayed

Hint I.2 What is the correct antiderivative?


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in meters per second to three significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 43.0
Correct

A Ball Hits a Wall Elastically


A ball of mass moving with velocity strikes a vertical wall. The angle between the ball's
initial velocity vector and the wall is
as shown on the diagram, which
depicts the situation as seen from
above. The duration of the collision
between the ball and the wall is ,
and this collision is completely
elastic. Friction is negligible, so the
ball does not start spinning. In this
idealized collision, the force exerted
on the ball by the wall is parallel to
the x axis.

Part A

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What is the final angle that the ball's velocity vector makes with the negative y axis?

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Relate the vector components of the ball's initial and final velocities. This will allow you to
determine in terms of .

Hint A.2 Find the y component of the ball's final velocity


What is , the component of the final velocity of the ball?

Hint A.2.1 How to approach this part


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of quantities given in the problem


introduction and/or and , the and components of the ball's initial
velocity.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Hint A.3 Find the component of the ball's final velocity


What is , the component of the ball' final velocity?

Hint A.3.1 How to approach this problem


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of quantities given in the problem


introduction and/or and , the and components of the ball's initial
velocity.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

The wall exerts a force on the ball in the direction. However, because energy is
conserved in this collision, the final speed of the ball must be equal to its initial
speed. Since there is no force on the ball in the y direction, the magnitude of the
component of the ball's velocity is constant. Therefore, the magnitude of the
component of the velocity must be constant as well. However, the sign of the
velocity will change as the ball moves first toward, then away from, the wall.

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Hint A.4 Putting it together


Once you find the vector components of the final velocity in terms of the initial velocity,
use the geometry of similar triangles to determine in terms of .

Express your answer in terms of quantities given in the problem


introduction.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part B
What is the magnitude of the average force exerted on the ball by the wall?

Hint B.1 What physical principle to use


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Change in momentum of the ball


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of variables given in the problem introduction


and/or .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

A Game of Frictionless Catch

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Chuck and Jackie stand on separate carts, both of which can slide without friction. The
combined mass of Chuck and his cart, , is identical to the combined mass of Jackie
and her cart. Initially, Chuck and Jackie and their carts are at rest.
Chuck then picks up a ball of mass and throws it to Jackie, who catches it. Assume
that the ball travels in a straight line parallel to the ground (ignore the effect of gravity). After
Chuck throws the ball, his speed relative to the ground is . The speed of the thrown ball
relative to the ground is .
Jackie catches the ball when it reaches her, and she and her cart begin to move. Jackie's
speed relative to the ground after she catches the ball is .
When answering the questions in this problem, keep the following in mind:
1. The original mass of Chuck and his cart does not include the mass of the ball.
2. The speed of an object is the magnitude of its velocity. An object's speed will always be a
nonnegative quantity.

Part A
Find the relative speed between Chuck and the ball after Chuck has thrown the ball.

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express the speed in terms of and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Make sure you understand this result; the concept of "relative speed" is important. In
general, if two objects are moving in opposite directions (either toward each other or
away from each other), the relative speed between them is equal to the sum of their
speeds with respect to the ground. If two objects are moving in the same direction,
then the relative speed between them is the absolute value of the difference of the
their two speeds with respect to the ground.

Part B

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What is the speed of the ball (relative to the ground) while it is in the air?

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Initial momentum of Chuck, his cart, and the ball
Hint not displayed

Hint B.3 Find the final momentum of Chuck, his cart, and the thrown
ball
Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part C
What is Chuck's speed (relative to the ground) after he throws the ball?

Hint C.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part D

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Find Jackie's speed (relative to the ground) after she catches the ball, in terms of .

Hint D.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint D.2 Initial momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint D.3 Find the final momentum


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part E
Find Jackie's speed (relative to the ground) after she catches the ball, in terms of .

Hint E.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

A Girl on a Trampoline

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A girl of mass kilograms springs from a trampoline with an initial upward velocity of
meters per second. At height meters above the trampoline, the girl grabs a
box of mass kilograms.
For this problem, use
meters per second per second for
the magnitude of the acceleration
due to gravity.

Part A
What is the speed of the girl immediately before she grabs the box?

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Initial kinetic energy


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Potential energy at height


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically in meters per second.

ANSWER:
= 4.98
Correct

Part B

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What is the speed of the girl immediately after she grabs the box?

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Total initial momentum


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically in meters per second.

ANSWER:
= 3.98
Correct

Part C
Is this "collision" elastic or inelastic?

Hint C.1 Definition of an inelastic collision


Hint not displayed

ANSWER: elastic
inelastic

Correct

In inelastic collisions, some of the system's kinetic energy is lost. In this case the
kinetic energy lost is converted to heat energy in the girl's muscles as she grabs the
box, and sound energy.

Part D

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What is the maximum height that the girl (with box) reaches? Measure with
respect to the top of the trampoline.

Hint D.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint D.2 Finding


Hint not displayed

Hint D.3 Finding


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically in meters.

ANSWER:
= 2.81
Correct

An Exciting Encounter
An atom of mass is initially at rest, in its ground state. A moving (nonrelativistic) electron
of mass collides with the atom. The atom+electron system can exist in an excited state
in which the electron is absorbed into the atom. The excited state has an extra, "internal,"
energy relative to the atom's ground state.

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Part A
Find the kinetic energy that the electron must have in order to excite the atom.

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Find the final kinetic energy in terms of the initial kinetic
energy of the electron
Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:

=
All attempts used; correct answer
displayed

Part B
We can use the result from Part A to study a process of interest in atomic physics: a
collision of two atoms that causes one of the atoms to ionize (lose an electron). In this
case, is the energy needed to ionize one of the atoms, called the ionization energy. The
most efficient way to ionize an atom in a collision with another atom is for the collision to
be completely inelastic (atoms stick together after the collision). If the collision were
perfectly elastic, then translational kinetic energy would be conserved, and there would be
no energy left over for exciting the atom. If the collision were partially elastic, then some of
the initial kinetic energy would be converted into internal energy, but not as much as in a
perfectly inelastic collision. In practice, interatomic collisions are never perfectly inelastic,
but analyzing this case can give a lower bound on the amount of kinetic energy needed for
ionization.
Is it possible to ionize an atom of , initially at rest, by a collision with an atom of
that has kinetic energy of 4.0 electron volts? The ionization energy of the cesium
atom is 3.9 electron volts.
You can take the mass of the oxygen atom to be 16 atomic mass units and that of the
cesium atom to be 133 atomic mass units. It doesn't matter what mass units you choose,
as long as you are consistent. For this question, it is most convenient to use atomic mass
units, since these are the numbers you are provided with.

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

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Hint B.2 What is the correspondence with Part A?


Hint not displayed

Hint B.3 The masses of cesium and oxygen


Hint not displayed

ANSWER: yes
no

Correct

Part C
What is the least possible initial kinetic energy the oxygen atom could have and still
excite the cesium atom?

Hint C.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in electron volts, to one decimal place.

ANSWER: 4.4
= All attempts used; correct answer
displayed

A Superball Collides Inelastically with a Table


As shown in the figure , a superball with mass equal to 50 grams is dropped from a

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height of . It collides with


a table, then bounces up to a height
of . The duration of the
collision (the time during which the
superball is in contact with the table)
is . In this problem, take
the positive y direction to be upward,
and use for the
magnitude of the acceleration due to
gravity. Neglect air resistance.

Part A
Find the y component of the momentum, , of the ball immediately before the
collision.

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Find the speed of the ball


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically, to two significant figures.

ANSWER:
= -0.27
Correct

Part B

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Find the y component of the momentum of the ball immediately after the collision, that is,
just as it is leaving the table.

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Find the speed of the ball


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically, to two significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 0.22
Correct

Part C
Find the y component of the time-averaged force , in newtons, that the table exerts
on the ball.

Hint C.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically, to two significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 33
Correct

Part D
Find , the y component of the impulse imparted to the ball during the collision.

Hint D.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically, to two significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 0.49
Correct

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Part E
Find , the change in the kinetic energy of the ball during the collision, in
joules.

Hint E.1 Find the kinetic energy before the collision


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically, to two significant figures.

ANSWER:
= -0.25
Correct

Ballistic Pendulum
In a ballistic pendulum an object of mass is fired with an initial speed at a pendulum
bob. The bob has a mass , which is suspended by a rod of length and negligible mass.
After the collision, the pendulum and object stick together and swing to a maximum angular
displacement as shown .

Part A

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Find an expression for , the initial speed of the fired object.

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Determine which physical laws and principles apply


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Describe the collision


Hint not displayed

Hint A.4 Describe the swing


Hint not displayed

Hint A.5 Relating the two physical processes


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of some or all of the variables , , , and


and the acceleration due to gravity, .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

The ballistic pendulum was invented during the Napoleonic Wars to aide the British
Navy in making better cannons. It has since been used by ballisticians to measure
the velocity of a bullet as it leaves the barrel of a gun. In Part B you will use your
expression for to compare the initial speeds of bullets fired from 9- and .44-
caliber handguns.

Part B

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An experiment is done to compare the initial speed of bullets fired from different handguns:
a9 and a .44 caliber. The guns are fired into a 10- pendulum bob of length .
Assume that the 9- bullet has a mass of 6 and the .44-caliber bullet has a mass
of 12 . If the 9- bullet causes the pendulum to swing to a maximum angular
displacement of 4.3 and the .44-caliber bullet causes a displacement of 10.1 , find the
ratio of the initial speed of the 9- bullet to the speed of the .44-caliber
bullet, .

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically.

ANSWER:
= 0.847
Correct

Police officers in the United States commonly carry 9- handguns because they
are easier to handle, having a shorter barrel than typical .44-caliber guns. Not only
does the .44-caliber bullet have more mass than the 9- one, its passage through
a longer gun barrel means that it also moves faster as it leaves the barrel, which
makes the .44-caliber Magnum a particularly powerful handgun. A .44-caliber bullet
can travel at speeds over 1000 (1600 ).

Colliding Cars
In this problem we will consider the collision of two cars initially moving at right angles. We
assume that after the collision the cars stick together and travel off as a single unit. The
collision is therefore completely inelastic.
Two cars of masses and collide at an intersection. Before the collision, car 1 was
traveling eastward at a speed of , and car 2 was traveling northward at a speed of .

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After the collision, the two cars stick


together and travel off in the
direction shown.

Part A
First, find the magnitude of , that is, the speed of the two-car unit after the collision.

Hint A.1 Conservation of momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 x and y components of momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 A vector and its components


Hint not displayed

Hint A.4 Velocity and momentum


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of , , and the cars' initial speeds and .

ANSWER:

Correct

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Part B
Find the tangent of the angle .

Express your answer in terms of the momenta of the two cars, and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part C
Suppose that after the collision, ; in other words, is . This means that
before the collision:

ANSWER: The magnitudes of the momenta of the cars were equal.


The masses of the cars were equal.
The velocities of the cars were equal.

Correct

Collision at an Angle
Two cars, both of mass , collide and stick together. Prior to the collision, one car had
been traveling north at speed , while the second was traveling at speed at an angle
south of east (as indicated in the figure). After the collision, the two-car system travels at
speed at an angle east of north.

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Part A
Find the speed of the joined cars after the collision.

Hint A.1 Determine the conserved quantities


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 The component of the final velocity in the east-west direction
Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Find the north-south component of the final momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint A.4 Math help


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part B

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What is the angle with respect to north made by the velocity vector of the two cars after
the collision?

Hint B.1 A formula for


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of . Your answer should contain an inverse


trigonometric function.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Elastic Collision in One Dimension


Block 1, of mass , moves across a frictionless surface with speed . It collides
elastically with block 2, of mass , which is at rest ( ). After the collision, block 1
moves with speed , while block 2
moves with speed . Assume that
, so that after the collision,
the two objects move off in the
direction of the first object before the
collision.

Part A

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This collision is elastic. What quantities, if any, are conserved in this collision?

Hint A.1 What to think about


Hint not displayed

ANSWER: kinetic energy only


momentum only
kinetic energy and momentum

Correct

Part B
What is the final speed of block 1?

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Apply conservation of momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint B.3 Apply conservation of energy


Hint not displayed

Hint B.4 Putting it together


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part C

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What is the final speed of block 2?

Hint C.1 Using the result from the previous part


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Filling the Boat


A boat of mass 250 is coasting, with its engine in neutral, through the water at
speed 3.00 when it starts to rain. The rain is falling vertically, and it accumulates in the
boat at the rate of 10.0 .

Part A
What is the speed of the boat after time 2.00 has passed? Assume that the water
resistance is negligible.

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Find the momentum of the boat before it starts to rain
Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Find the mass of the boat after it has started to rain
Hint not displayed

Express your answer in meters per second.

ANSWER:
2.78
Correct

Part B

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Now assume that the boat is subject to a drag force due to water resistance. Is the
component of the total momentum of the system parallel to the direction of motion still
conserved?

ANSWER: yes
no

Correct

The boat is subject to an external force, the drag force due to water resistance, and
therefore its momentum is not conserved.

Part C

The drag is proportional to the square of the speed of the boat, in the form .
What is the acceleration of the boat just after the rain starts? Take the positive axis
along the direction of motion.

Hint C.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint C.2 Find the time rate of change of momentum of the boat
Hint not displayed

Express your answer in meters per second per second.

ANSWER:
−1.80×10−2
Correct

Impulse and Change in Velocity

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A glob of very soft clay is dropped from above onto a digital scale. The clay sticks to the
scale on impact. A graph of the clay's velocity vs. time, , is given, with the upward
direction defined as positive.
The experiment is then repeated, but instead of using the clay glob, a superball with
identical mass is dropped from the same height onto the scale.
Both the clay and the superball hit the scale 2.9 after they are dropped. Assume that the
duration of the collision is the same in both cases and the force exerted by the scale on the
clay and the force exerted by the scale on the superball are constant.

Part A
Sketch the graph of the superball's velocity vs. time, , from the instant it is dropped
( ) until it bounces to its maximum height ( ). Assume that the superball
undergoes an elastic collision with the scale, and that the scale's recoil velocity is
negligible. The light colored graph already present in the answer window is .

Hint A.1 Velocity vs. time before the collision


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Find the speed of the ball as it leaves the scale
Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Determine the sign of the ball's velocity after the collision
Hint not displayed

Hint A.4 Velocity vs. time graph after the collision


Hint not displayed

Hint A.5 Find the time of the ball's collision with the scale
Hint not displayed

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ANSWER:

View
All attempts used; correct answer
displayed

Part B
Based on your graph, is the change in velocity of the superball during its collision with the
scale greater than, less than, or equal to the change in velocity of the clay during its
collision with the scale?

ANSWER: The change in velocity of the superball is greater than


the change in velocity of the clay.
The change in velocity of the superball is less than the
change in velocity of the clay.
The change in velocity of the superball is equal to the
change in velocity of the clay.
Correct

Part C
Is the force exerted by the scale on the superball greater than, less than, or equal to the
force exerted by the scale on the clay?

Hint C.1 Relating change in velocity to force


Hint not displayed

ANSWER: The force exerted by the scale on the superball is


greater than the force exerted by the scale on the clay.
The force exerted by the scale on the superball is less
than the force exerted by the scale on the clay.
The force exerted by the scale on the superball is
equal to the force exerted by the scale on the clay.
Correct

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Impulse and Momentum Ranking Task


Six automobiles are initially traveling at the indicated velocities. The automobiles have
different masses and velocities. The drivers step on the brakes and all automobiles are
brought to rest.

Part A
Rank these automobiles based on their momentum before the brakes are applied, from
largest to smallest.
Rank from largest to smallest. To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.

ANSWER:

View
Answer Requested

Part B
Rank these automobiles based on the magnitude of the impulse needed to stop them,
from largest to smallest.

Hint B.1 Relating impulse to momentum


The impulse applied to an object is equal to the object’s change in momentum.
Therefore, the impulse needed to stop them should be equal to the difference between
the initial momentum and the final momentum. (The final momentum is zero since the
car is brought to a stop.)

Hint B.2 Apply the impulse-momentum theorem

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All of the cars are brought to rest. What is the final momentum of each automobile?

Hint B.2.1 How to find momentum


Hint not displayed

Enter your answer in kilogram meters per second to three significant


figures.

ANSWER:
=0
Correct

Rank from largest to smallest. To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.

ANSWER:

View
Answer Requested

Part C
Rank the automobiles based on the magnitude of the force needed to stop them, from
largest to smallest.

Hint C.1 How to approach the problem


You know the impulse needed to stop the cars. However, this impulse could be a very
large force exerted over a fraction of a second, a very small force exerted over several
minutes, or any situation in between, so long as the force multiplied by the time gives the
proper impulse. You must know the time intervals over which the stopping forces are
exerted to determine the magnitudes of the stopping forces from the impulses.

Rank from largest to smallest. To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.

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ANSWER:

View
Answer Requested

The more momentum an object has, the more impulse is needed to stop it. However,
this impulse can be provided via a large force acting over a short time interval or a
relatively small force acting over a relatively long time interval. If you are driving down
the highway at 55 , you can stop your car by either lightly pressing on the brakes
and traveling a long time before stopping, or pressing more firmly on the brakes and
stopping more quickly. In both cases, your braking system has applied the same
amount of impulse to your car.

Rocket Car
A rocket car is developed to break the land speed record along a salt flat in Utah. However,
the safety of the driver must be considered, so the acceleration of the car must not exceed
(or five times the acceleration of gravity) during the test. Using the latest materials and
technology, the total mass of the car (including the fuel) is 6000 kilograms, and the mass of
the fuel is one-third of the total mass of the car (i.e., 2000 killograms). The car is moved to
the starting line (and left at rest), at which time the rocket is ignited. The rocket fuel is
expelled at a constant speed of 900 meters per second relative to the car, and is burned at
a constant rate until used up, which takes only 15 seconds. Ignore all effects of friction in
this problem.

Part A
Find the acceleration of the car just after the rocket is ignited.

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem

The equation for the acceleration due to rocket propulsion is , where is

the exhaust speed. To use this equation, first find an expression for the rate of mass loss
of the car.

Hint A.2 find the rate of mass change


Hint not displayed

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Express your answer to two significant figures.

ANSWER: 20
= Answer
Requested

The driver of this car is experiencing just over , or two times the acceleration one
normally feels due to gravity, at the start of the trip. This is not much different from the
acceleration typically experienced by thrill seekers on a roller coaster, so the driver is
in no danger on this score.

Part B
Find the final acceleration of the car as the rocket is just about to use up its fuel
supply.

Hint B.1 What has changed?


What has changed from the time of the initial ignition of the rocket to the moment when
the fuel is used up?

ANSWER: the exhaust speed of the rocket relative to the car


the total mass of the car (including the fuel)
the rate of mass change of the car

Correct

Hint B.2 Find the final mass


Hint not displayed

Express your answer to two significant figures.

ANSWER: 30
= Answer
Requested

The driver of this car is experiencing just over , or three times the acceleration one
normally feels due to gravity, by the end of the trip. This is the maximum acceleration
achieved during the trip, and it is still very safe for the driver, who can easily
withstand over with training.

Part C

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Find the final velocity of the car just as the rocket is about to use up its fuel supply.

Hint C.1 Find the change in speed


Write an expression for the change in speed of the car from start to finish: .
You will need to make use of the differential equation for rocket motion
,

if you don't know the equation for velocity of a rocket.

Hint C.1.1 How to solve the differential equation


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of the exhaust speed , the initial mass of
the car (plus fuel) , and the final mass of the car .

ANSWER: = Answer not displayed

Express your answer to two significant figures.

ANSWER: 360
= Answer
Requested

At the end of the trip, the driver is going a bit over Mach 1, or one times the speed of
sound. This problem was based loosely on the breaking of the sound barrier by the
ThrustSSC team in October 1997.

Surprising Exploding Firework


A mortar fires a shell of mass at speed . The shell explodes at the top of its trajectory
(shown by a star in the figure) as designed. However, rather than creating a shower of
colored flares, it breaks into just two pieces, a smaller piece of mass and a larger piece

of mass . Both pieces land at exactly the same time. The smaller piece lands perilously

close to the mortar (at a distance of zero from the mortar). The larger piece lands a distance
from the mortar. If there had been no explosion, the shell would have landed a distance
from the mortar. Assume that air resistance and the mass of the shell's explosive charge are
negligible.

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Part A
Find the distance from the mortar at which the larger piece of the shell lands.

Hint A.1 Find the position of the center of mass in terms of


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Find the position of the center of mass in terms of


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Sinking the 9-Ball

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Jeanette is playing in a 9-ball pool tournament. She will win if she sinks the 9-ball from the
final rack, so she needs to line up her shot precisely. Both the cue ball and the 9-ball have
mass , and the cue ball is hit at an initial speed of . Jeanette carefully hits the cue ball
into the 9-ball off center, so that when the balls collide, they move away from each other at
the same angle from the direction in which the cue ball was originally traveling (see
figure). Furthermore, after the collision, the cue ball moves away at speed , while the 9-
ball moves at speed .
For the purposes of this problem,
assume that the collision is perfectly
elastic, neglect friction, and ignore
the spinning of the balls.

Part A
Find the angle that the 9-ball travels away from the horizontal, as shown in the figure.

Hint A.1 Determine the conserved quantities


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Apply conservation of kinetic energy


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Apply conservation of momentum in the y direction


Hint not displayed

Hint A.4 Apply conservation of momentum in the x direction


Hint not displayed

Hint A.5 Putting it all together

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Hint not displayed

Express your answer in degrees to three significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 45.0
Correct

Note that the angle between the final velocities of the two balls is . It turns
out that in any elastic collision between two objects of equal mass, one of which is
initially at rest, the angle between the final velocities of the two objects will be ninety
degrees.

Trading Momenta in a Collision


Two particles move perpendicular to each other until they collide. Particle 1 has mass
and momentum of magnitude ,
and particle 2 has mass and
momentum of magnitude . Note:
Magnitudes are not drawn to scale
in any of the figures.

Part A

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Suppose that after the collision, the particles "trade" their momenta, as shown in the
figure. That is, particle 1 now has magnitude of momentum , and particle 2 has
magnitude of momentum ; furthermore, each particle is now moving in the direction in
which the other had been moving. How much kinetic energy, , is lost in the collision?

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Find the relationship between energy and momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Find the initial kinetic energy


Hint not displayed

Hint A.4 Find the final kinetic energy


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part B
Consider an alternative situation: This time the particles collide completely inelastically.
How much kinetic energy is lost in this case?

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Definition of completely inelastic


Hint not displayed

Hint B.3 Initial kinetic energy


Hint not displayed

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Hint B.4 Find the final kinetic energy


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Traffic Accident Analysis


Consider the following two-car accident: Two cars of equal mass collide at an
intersection. Driver E was traveling eastward, and driver N, northward. After the collision, the
two cars remain joined together and slide, with locked wheels, before coming to rest. Police
on the scene measure the length of the skid marks to be 9 meters. The coefficient of
friction between the locked wheels and the road is equal to 0.9.

Each driver claims that his speed was less than 14 meters per second (50 mph). A third
driver, who was traveling closely behind driver E prior to the collision, supports driver E's
claim by asserting that driver E's speed could not have been greater than 12 meters per
second. Take the following steps to decide whether driver N's statement is consistent with
the third driver's contention.

Part A

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Let the speeds of drivers E and N prior to the collision be denoted by and ,
respectively. Find , the square of the speed of the two-car system the instant after the
collision.

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem

In general, you can find either by using conservation of energy or by finding the
individual components of the velocity using conservation of momentum, depending on
which quantity is conserved. What is conserved in this collision?

ANSWER: energy only


momentum only
both energy and momentum

Correct

As long as there are no external forces, momentum is always conserved.


Note: Conservation of momentum yields two equations, one for each component of
the velocity. Furthermore, the condition that the two velocities after the collision are
equal yields two constraints (one for each component). So you have four equations
in four variables. However these latter constraints are trivial, so practically speaking
you only have to write the conservation of momentum equations.

Hint A.2 Find the x and y components of velocity


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 The magnitude of the velocity vector


Hint not displayed

Express your answer terms of and .

ANSWER:
=
Answer
Requested

Part B

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What is the kinetic energy of the two-car system immediately after the collision?

Hint B.1 Definition of kinetic energy


The kinetic energy of an object of mass and speed is given by the formula
.

Hint B.2 The mass of the system


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Answer
Requested

Part C
Write an expression for the work done on the cars by friction.

Hint C.1 Definition of work

For a constant applied linear force , the work required to move an object through a

straight-line displacement is given by , where is the angle


between the direction of the force and the direction of the displacement.

Hint C.2 Magnitude of the frictional force


Hint not displayed

Hint C.3 Direction of the frictional force


Hint not displayed

Express your answer symbolically in terms of the mass of a single car,


the magnitude of the acceleration due to gravity , the coefficient of sliding
friction , and the distance through which the two-car system slides
before coming to rest.

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ANSWER:
= Answer
Requested

Part D
Using the information given in the problem introduction and assuming that the third driver
is telling the truth, determine whether driver N has reported his speed correctly.
Specifically, if driver E had been traveling with a speed of exactly 12 meters per second
before the collision, what must driver N's speed have been before the collision?

Hint D.1 How to approach the problem


Use the work-energy theorem, , to relate the kinetic energy of the
two-car system immediately after the collision (now for this part of the motion), to
the nonconservative work done by friction in bringing the two cars finally to rest.

Hint D.2 The final kinetic energy


Hint not displayed

Express your answer numerically, in meters per second, to the nearest


integer. Take , the magnitude of the acceleration due to gravity, to be 9.81
meters per second per second.

ANSWER: 22
= Answer m/s
Requested

If you believe the report by the third driver that the speed of driver E's car was less
than or equal to 12 meters per second, then driver N's speed just obtained is the
minimum speed that driver N could have had before the collision. So, even if you do
not know that driver E's car was traveling at exactly 12 meters per second before the
collision, it is still evident that the driver of car N was not reporting his speed
accurately. Also, we have assumed that neither driver brakes before or during the
collision. Including this factor makes the analysis somewhat more involved in real
situations.

Two Worlds on a String

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Two balls, A and B, with masses and are connected by a taut, massless string, and
are moving along a horizontal frictionless plane. The distance between the centers of the
two balls is . At a certain instant, the velocity of ball B has magnitude and is directed
perpendicular to the string and parallel to the horizontal plane, and the velocity of ball A is
zero.

Part A
Find , the tension in the string.

Hint A.1 Descibe the nature of the motion


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 The key idea


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Find the velocity of the center of mass


Hint not displayed

Hint A.4 Find the rotational speed


Hint not displayed

Hint A.5 Find the radius of rotation


Hint not displayed

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Hint A.6 Acceleration of ball B


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of , , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Note that your answer is "symmetric" between the parameters and . This is as
it should be: The tension should be the same regardless of whether or initially
moves. Only their relative velocity matters.

Collisions in One Dimension


On a frictionless horizontal air table, puck A (with mass 0.255 ) is moving toward puck B
(with mass 0.371 ), which is initially at rest. After the collision, puck A has velocity 0.124
to the left, and puck B has velocity 0.648 to the right.

Part A
What was the speed of puck A before the collision?

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 The initial momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Find the final momentum of puck A


Hint not displayed

Hint A.4 Find the final momentum of puck B


Hint not displayed

ANSWER:
= 0.819
Correct

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Part B
Calculate , the change in the total kinetic energy of the system that occurs during the
collision.

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Find the initial kinetic energy of puck A


Hint not displayed

Hint B.3 Find the final kinetic energy of puck A


Hint not displayed

Hint B.4 Find the final kinetic energy of puck B


Hint not displayed

ANSWER:
= −5.62×10−3
Correct

Conservation of Momentum in Two Dimensions Ranking Task

Part A
The figures below show bird's-eye views of six automobile crashes an instant before they
occur. The automobiles have different masses and incoming velocities as shown. After
impact, the automobiles remain joined together and skid to rest in the direction shown by
. Rank these crashes according to the angle , measured counterclockwise as
shown, at which the wreckage initially skids.

Hint A.1 Conservation of momentum in two dimensions


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Determining the angle


Hint not displayed

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Rank from largest to smallest. To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.

ANSWER:

View
All attempts used; correct answer
displayed

Spinning the Wheels: An Introduction to Angular Momentum


Learning Goal: To learn the definition and applications of angular momentum including
its relationship to torque.
By now, you should be familiar with the concept of momentum, defined as the product of an
object's mass and its velocity:
.
You may have noticed that nearly every translational concept or equation seems to have an
analogous rotational one. So, what might be the rotational analogue of momentum?
Just as the rotational analogue of force , called the torque , is defined by the formula

the rotational analogue of momentum , called the angular momentum , is given by the
formula
,
for a single particle. For an extended body you must add up the angular momenta of all of
the pieces.
There is another formula for angular momentum that makes the analogy to momentum
particularly clear. For a rigid body rotating about an axis of symmetry, which will be true for
all parts in this problem, the measure of inertia is given not by the mass but by the
rotational inertia (i.e., the moment of inertia) . Similarly, the rate of rotation is given by the
body's angular speed, . The product gives the angular momentum of a rigid body
rotating about an axis of symmetry. (Note that if the body is not rotating about an axis of
symmetry, then the angular momentum and the angular velocity may not be parallel.)

Part A

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Which of the following is the SI unit of angular momentum?

ANSWER:

Correct

Part B
An object has rotational inertia . The object, initially at rest, begins to rotate with a
constant angular acceleration of magnitude . What is the magnitude of the angular
momentum of the object after time ?

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part C
A rigid, uniform bar with mass and length rotates about the axis passing through the
midpoint of the bar perpendicular to the bar. The linear speed of the end points of the bar
is . What is the magnitude of the angular momentum of the bar?

Hint C.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint C.2 Rotational inertia of the bar


Hint not displayed

Hint C.3 Finding the magnitude of the angular velocity

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Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of , , , and appropriate constants.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

You may recall that, according to Newton's 2nd law, the rate of change of momentum of
an object equals the net force acting on the object:
.

Similarly, the rate of change of angular momentum of an object equals the net torque
acting on the object:

Therefore, if the net torque acting on an object (or a system of objects) is zero (i.e., the
system is "closed"), then the rate of change of angular momentum is also zero. In other
words, the net angular momentum of a closed system is constant (conserved).
This statement is known as the law of conservation of angular momentum. Just like the
laws of conservation of energy and momentum, the law of conservation of angular
momentum plays a major role in mechanics.

Part D
The uniform bar shown in the diagram has a length of 0.80 m. The bar begins to rotate
from rest in the horizontal plane about the axis passing through its left end. What will be
the magnitude of the angular momentum of the bar 6.0 s after the motion has begun?
The forces acting on the bar are shown.

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Hint D.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in to two significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 4.8
Correct

Part E
Each of the four bars shown can rotate freely in the horizontal plane about its left end. For
which diagrams is the net torque equal to zero?
Type in alphabetical order
the letters corresponding to
the correct diagrams. For
instance, if you think that
only diagrams A, B, and C
answer the question, type
ABC.

ANSWER: BC
Correct

If the sum of the forces on a body is zero, then the net torque is independent of the
point about which the torque is calculated. If the net force on the body is not zero, as
is true for most of the beams in this part, then the torque will depend on the point
about which you calculate the torque.

Part F

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Consider the figures for Part E. For which diagrams is the angular momentum constant?

Hint F.1 Determining when angular momentum is constant


Hint not displayed

Type alphabetically the letters corresponding to the correct diagrams. For


instance, if you think that only diagrams A, B, and C answer the question,
type ABC.

ANSWER: BC
Correct

Angular momentum is conserved when the net torque is zero. This is analogous to
the statement from linear dynamics that momentum is conserved when the net force
is zero.

Part G
Each of the disks in the figure has radius . Each disk can rotate freely about the axis
passing through the center of the disk perpendicular to the plane of the figure, as shown.
For which diagrams is the angular momentum constant? In your calculations, use the
information provided in the diagrams.
Type alphabetically the
letters corresponding to the
correct diagrams. For
instance, if you think that
only diagrams A, B, and C
answer the question, type ABC.

ANSWER: AD
Correct

Part H

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Three disks are spinning independently on the same axle without friction. Their respective
rotational inertias and angular speeds are (clockwise); (counterclockwise); and
(clockwise). The disks then slide together and stick together, forming one piece
with a single angular velocity. What will be the direction and the rate of rotation of the
single piece?

Hint H.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint H.2 Find the rotational inertia


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of one or both of the variables and and
appropriate constants. Use a minus sign for clockwise rotation.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

A Toy Gyroscope
The rotor (flywheel) of a toy gyroscope has mass 0.140 kilograms. Its moment of inertia
about its axis is kilogram meters squared. The mass of the frame is 0.0250
kilograms. The gyroscope is supported on a single pivot with its center of mass a horizontal
distance 4.00 centimeters from the
pivot. The gyroscope is precessing
in a horizontal plane at the rate of
one revolution in 2.20 seconds.

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Part A
Find the upward force exerted by the pivot.

Hint A.1 Precession in a gyroscope


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Balance of forces


Hint not displayed

Enter your answer in newtons to four significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 1.617
Correct

Part B
Find the angular speed at which the rotor is spinning about its axis, expressed in
revolutions per minute.

Hint B.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 How to calculate the angular momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint B.3 Calculate the precession angular speed


Hint not displayed

Hint B.4 Calculate the torque


Hint not displayed

Hint B.5 Using the angular momentum


Hint not displayed

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Enter your answer in revolutions per minute to four significant figures.

ANSWER:
= 1802
Correct

Change in Angular Velocity Ranking Task


A merry-go-round of radius , shown in the figure, is rotating at constant angular speed.
The friction in its bearings is so small that it can be ignored. A sandbag of mass is
dropped onto the merry-go-round, at a position designated by . The sandbag does not slip
or roll upon contact with the merry-go-round.

Part A
Rank the following different combinations of and on the basis of the angular speed of
the merry-go-round after the sandbag "sticks" to the merry-go-round.

Hint A.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Determining the change in moment of inertia


Hint not displayed

Rank from largest to smallest. To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.

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ANSWER:

View
Correct

Hockey Stick and Puck


A hockey stick of mass and
length is at rest on the ice (which
is assumed to be frictionless). A
puck with mass hits the stick a
distance from the middle of the
stick. Before the collision, the puck
was moving with speed in a
direction perpendicular to the stick,
as indicated in the figure. The
collision is completely inelastic, and
the puck remains attached to the
stick after the collision.

Part A

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Find the speed of the center of mass of the stick+puck combination after the collision.

Hint A.1 Which conservation law to use


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Calculate the initial momentum of the system


Hint not displayed

Hint A.3 Calculate the final momentum of the system


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of the following quantities: , , , and .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part B
After the collision, the stick and puck will rotate about their combined center of mass. How
far is this center of mass from the point at which the puck struck? In the figure, this
distance is .

Hint B.1 Distance from middle of stick to center of mass of stick+puck


Hint not displayed

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ANSWER:
=
Correct

Note that if , the previous expression approaches D; that is, for a very
massive stick, the center of mass of the combination is at the center of the stick.

Part C
What is the angular momentum of the system before the collision, with respect to the
center of mass of the final system?

Hint C.1 Formula for angular momentum


Hint not displayed

Express in terms of the given variables.

ANSWER:
=
Correct

This is why, in the previous part, we were interested in the distance from the center of
mass to the point of impact.

Part D
What is the angular velocity of the stick+puck combination after the collision? Assume
that the stick is uniform and has a moment of inertia about its center.

Hint D.1 How to approach the problem


Hint not displayed

Hint D.2 Express angular momentum in terms of moment of inertia


and velocity
Hint not displayed

Hint D.3 Calculate the moment of inertia


Hint not displayed

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Hint D.4 Putting it all together


Hint not displayed

Your answer for should not contain the variable .

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Part E
Which of the following statements are TRUE?

1) Kinetic energy is conserved.


2) Linear momentum is conserved.
3) Angular momentum of the stick+puck is conserved about the center of mass of the
combined system.
4) Angular momentum of the stick+puck is conserved about the (stationary) point where
the collision occurs.

Hint E.1 About conservation of angular momentum


Hint not displayed

ANSWER: 1 only
2 only
3 only
4 only
1&2
1&4
2&4
12&3
23&4

Correct

Note that there are no external torques on the system, so angular momentum is
conserved about all points. However, typically we consider conservation of about
the center of mass of the whole system because it is useful to talk about the future
motion as the linear motion of the center of mass (of the new system)+ rotation about
the center of mass (of the new system).

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Precessing Tilted Gyroscope

A gyroscope consists of a flywheel of mass , which has a moment of inertia for rotation
about its axis. It is mounted on a rod of negligible mass, which is supported at one end by a
frictionless pivot attached to a vertical post, as shown in the diagram. The distance between
the center of the wheel and the pivot is . The wheel rotates about its axis with angular
velocity , where positive refers to counterclockwise rotation as seen by an observer
looking at the face of the wheel that is opposite the pivot. The rod is tilted upward, making
an angle with respect to the horizontal. Gravity acts downward with a force of magnitude
.
Adopt a coordinate system with the z axis pointing upward and the x and y axes in the
horizontal plane. The gyroscope is moving, but at , the rod is in the yz plane.

Part A

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Assuming that the only significant contribution to the angular momentum comes from the
spinning of the flywheel about its center, what is the angular momentum vector about
the pivot at ?

Hint A.1 A formula for angular momentum


Hint not displayed

Hint A.2 Find the direction of the angular velocity vector


Hint not displayed

Specify the components of with respect to the axes shown in the

diagram. Write the components in order , , separated by commas.

ANSWER:
, , =
Correct

Part B
At , what is the torque acting on the wheel about the pivot?

Hint B.1 What is the direction of the torque?


Hint not displayed

Hint B.2 Find the x component of the torque


Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of components , , , separated by


commas.

ANSWER:
, , =
Correct

Part C

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The gyroscope is observed to precess about the vertical axis, with an angular velocity of
precession , defined as positive for counterclockwise precession as seen from above.
Find in terms of the given quantities.

Hint C.1 Relevant laws for rotational dynamics


Hint not displayed

Hint C.2
A relation between and

Hint not displayed

ANSWER:
=
Correct

Thus the rate of precession is independent of ! The reason for this is that varying
changes both and the torque due to gravity by the same factor, .

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