A2L Item 160

Goal: Developing a strategic approach to problem solving

Source: CT151.2S02-44 spinoff

A cart
of mass 2m collides and sticks to a cart of mass m that is initially at
rest. The combination of the two then moves together. Which of the
following principles would be the most efficient way to find the final
speed of the combination?

  1. The Work/Energy Theorem
  2. Newton’s Laws and the basic equations of motion
  3. Conservation of Energy
  4. Conservation of Momentum
  5. Conservation of Angular Momentum
  6. A different principle entirely.
  7. Two (or more) of them would be equally efficient.
  8. Need more information.



(4) It is valuable to always associate conservation of momentum
with the third law. In addition, it is worthwhile to distinguish totally
inelastic collisions from typical inelastic collisions.