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# The Speed of an Entangled Mass

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Question: An 1470 kg car stopped at a traffic light is struck from the rear by a 935 kg car and the two become entangled. If the smaller car was moving at 11.8 m/s before the collision, what is the speed of the entangled mass after the collision?

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This problem can be solved using the law of conservation of momentum, which states that the total momentum of a closed system before a collision is equal to the total momentum after the collision. The initial momentum of the two-car system is the momentum of the moving car before the collision, because the other car is not moving. Initial momentum = (mass of moving car) x (velocity of moving car) Initial momentum = (935 kg) x (11.8 m/s) = 11033 kg*m/s The final momentum of the system is the total mass after the collision (the sum of the masses of the two cars), multiplied by the final velocity. Let's call the final velocity v. Final momentum = (mass of car 1 + mass of car 2) x (final velocity) Final momentum = (1470 kg + 935 kg) x v = 2405 kg * v Since the initial and final momentum are the same according to the law of conservation of momentum: 11033 kg*m/s = 2405 kg * v After dividing the initial momentum by the total mass to isolate v: v = 11033 kg*m/s / 2405 kg = 4.59 m/s So, the speed of the entangled mass after the collision is 4.59 m/s.

Dec. 8, 2023, 8:25 a.m.

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