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# Conservation of Momentum

This is used whenever things collide or there is an
explosion
Collisions massive
can be .....
big

medium

small

tiny
The facts :

Momentum = mass x velocity

p = m.v

total of
The sum momentum beforebefore
the momentum a collision is equal
a collision is to the
equal
total
to themomentum
sum of theafterwards
momentum afterwards
as long as no external forces act.

m1 . u1 + m2 . u2 = m1 . v1 + m2 . v2

u = velocity before collision v = velocity after collision
Before After

m1u1 m2v2
mm2u1v2 1

m1 . u1 + m2 . u2 = m1 . v1 + m2 . v2

u = velocity before collision v = velocity after collision
The weight of a skater
acts down through her
centre of gravity

The reaction caused by
the ice bending acts up
where the skate touches
the ice

We can now forget
equal and opposite
Abigail is gliding towards Beatrice at 3 m/s. When
they collide Abigail stops. What happens to Beatrice ?

m
40 m20x. u
. u31 + 40
1 x
120 m10x. v01 + m
02 = 40 402 v. v2
40 v = 120 = 3 m/s

3 m/s 0 m/s Beatrice’s
velocity
afterwards = v

40 kg 40 kg
Now Abigail is gliding towards Beatrice at 4 m/s. When
they collide Abigail and Beatrice partner up. What is
their combined velocity after the collision?

m
40 m20x. u02 = 40
. u41 + 40
1 x
160 m1 v. v1 80
+ vm2 .vv2
40
80 v = 160 = 2 m/s

4 m/s 0 m/s Afterwards
v=?

40 kg 40 kg
Afterwards
Abigail and Beatrice
Beatrice travels at 0.75
are gliding m/s toeach
towards the right.
other
What is Abigail’s
at 3 m/s and 2 m/s.velocity
Whatthen?
is their total momentum ?
No external forces
Momentum = 40 x act 40 momentum
3 + so x -2 = 120 –after
80 == 40 kg m/s

- +10 40 = 40.v + 4030
x 0.75
40 v = 10 = 0.25 m/s

3 m/s v=? 2 m/s
0.75 m/s

40 kg 40 kg 40 kg 40 kg
The full collision looks like this:
m1 = m2 = 40 kg

u1 = 3 m/s u2 = -2 m/s v1 = 0.75 m/s v2 = 0.25 m/s

40 x 3 + 40 x -2 = 40 x 0.75 + 40 *0.25
120 - 80 = 30 + 10
A thermal neutron travelling at 2 200 m/s strikes
a stationary Uranium 235 nucleus and is absorbed.
What is the velocity of the combination afterwards?
m1 . u1 + m2 . u2 = m1 . v1 + m2 . v2
1 x 2 200 + 235 x 0 = 1 v + 235 v
2 200 = 236 v
v = 2 200 / 236 = 9.32 m/s
A 10 kg cannon ball is fired by a 400 kg cannon. If
the gun recoils at 2 m/s, how fast does the cannon
ball leave the barrel?
m1 . u1 + m2 . u2 = m1 . v1 + m2 . v2
10 x 0 + 400 x 0 = 10 v + 400 x 2
0 = 10 v + 800
10 v = - 800
v = - 800 / 10 = - 80 m/s

2 m/s 80 m/s
What is an external force?
Reaction and action forces
are on different object
During the collision energy
Is either put in or taken
energy out
For example in a car accident:

If the engine is still driving the wheels, energy is put in

If the brakes are on, energy is being taken out
Both are external forces so the law does not work
So what is an internal force?
Both the action and reaction are on the same object

Action

=
Reaction

The law will work

Driver pulling on steering wheel Friction on seat
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