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College Physics

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

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College Physics

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

A car and a large truck traveling at the same speed collide head-on and stick together. Which vehicle undergoes the larger change in the magnitude of its momentum? (a) the car (b) the truck (c) the change in the magnitude of momentum is the same for both (d) impossible to determine without more information.

To determine
The vehicle experience the largest change in momentum.

Explanation

The collision occurred here is inelastic. In inelastic collision, the kinetic energy is not conserved however, the momentum is conserved.

Conclusion:

Since the momentum is conserved, the change in momentum of the truck must be counter balanced by the change in momentum of the car.  Thus, both the truck and car will have the same change in momentum. Thus, option (c) is correct.

The change in momentum of the car and the truck will be same in magnitude. Neither the car nor the truck will be having larger change in momentum than the other...

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