College Physics

11th Edition
Raymond A. Serway + 1 other
ISBN: 9781305952300



College Physics

11th Edition
Raymond A. Serway + 1 other
ISBN: 9781305952300
Textbook Problem

An amateur skater of mass M is trapped in the middle of an ice rink and is unable to return to the side where there is no ice. Every motion she makes causes her to slip on the ice and remain in the same spot. She decides to try to return to safety by removing her gloves of mass m and throwing them in the direction opposite the safe side. (a) She throws the gloves as hard as she can, and they leave her hand with a velocity v gloves . Explain whether or not she moves. If she does move, calculate her velocity v girl relative to the Earth after she throws the gloves. (b) Discuss her motion from the point of view of the forces acting on her.


To determine
The velocity of the girl ( vgirl ).


Given info: Mass of the skater is M. Speed of the gloves is vgloves . Mass of the gloves is m.


From law of conservation of momentum, the initial momentum before the gloves are thrown is equal to the final momentum. The initial momentum of the system is zero. Therefore,


On Re-arranging,



To determine
The forces acting on the system during its motion.

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