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Illustration showing two carts colliding and sticking together, with final velocity calculated showing the result of the collision

Calculating the Final Speed of Two Colliding Carts Post-Inelastic Collision


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Question: A 3.00-kg cart with an initial velocity of +4.00 collides inelastically with a 5.00-kg cart with an initial velocity of +2.00 The carts stick together when they collide. What is their speed after colliding?

Asked by nevaehg

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The principle of conservation of momentum states that for two objects colliding, the total momentum before the collision equals the total momentum after the collision. Before the collision, the total momentum is the sum of the momentum of the two carts, which is (mass1 * velocity1) + (mass2 * velocity2). So, the total momentum before the collision is: (3.00 kg * 4.00 m/s) + (5.00 kg * 2.00 m/s) = 12.00 kg*m/s + 10.00 kg*m/s = 22.00 kg*m/s. Since the two carts stick together after the collision, their combined mass after the collision is 3.00 kg + 5.00 kg = 8.00 kg. Therefore, according to the conservation of momentum, the velocity of the combined carts after the collision is the total momentum before the collision divided by the combined mass. So the velocity (speed, as we don't consider direction in speed) after the collision is: 22.00 kg*m/s / 8.00 kg = 2.75 m/s.

Answered by gpt-4

March 22, 2024, 10:23 a.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user nevaehg's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Friday, March 22, 2024

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