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College Physics

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

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BuyFindarrow_forward

College Physics

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

The Xanthar mothership locks onto an enemy cruiser with its tractor beam (Fig. P8.14); each ship is at rest in deep space with no propulsion following a devastating battle. The mothership is at x = 0 when its tractor beams are first engaged, a distance d = 215 xiles from the cruiser. Determine the x-position in xiles of the two spacecraft when the tractor beam has pulled them together. Model each spacecraft as a point particle with the mothership of mass M = 185 xons and the cruiser of mass m = 20.0 xons.

images

Figure P8.14

To determine
The x position of the two spacecraft when the tractor beam has pulled them together.

Explanation

Section1:

To determine: The center of mass of the two spacecraft when there is no force on them.

Answer: The center of mass of the two spacecraft when there is no force on them is 21.0xiles .

Explanation: Assume there is no force between the mother ship and the cruiser and the center of mass of the system is initially at rest.

Given info: The mass of the Xanthar mother ship is 185xons , the cruiser mass is 20.0xons , and the distance of the mother ship from the cruiser is 215xiles .

The formula for the center of mass of the Xanthar-cruiser system is,

xcm=Mx+mdM+m

  • M is mass of the Xanthar mother ship
  • m is mass of enemy cruiser ship
  • x is the position of the mother ship
  • d is the distance of the cruiser from the mother ship

Substitute 185xons for M , 20.0xons for m , 0xiles for x , and 215xiles for d to find xcm .

xcm=(185xons)(0xiles)+(20

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