Mastering Physics Solutions: Momentum in an Explosion

Momentum in an Explosion

Part A = 0
Part B = equal to
Part C = 500 kg·m/s

Solution Below:

A giant “egg” explodes as part of a fireworks display. The egg is at rest before the explosion, and after the explosion, it breaks into two pieces, with the masses indicated in the diagram, traveling in opposite directions.

Part A

What is the momentum PA,i of piece A before the explosion?

The problem tells us the egg is at rest before the explosion, so the momentum must be zero.

0

Part B

During the explosion, is the force of piece A on piece B greater than, less than, or equal to the force of piece B on piece A?

Remember that every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. So the two forces must be equal to each other.

equal to

Part C

The momentum of piece B is measured to be 500 kg·m/s after the explosion. Find the momentum PA,f of piece A after the explosion.

Every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, the momentums are equal. Piece A will be moving faster, since it has less mass, and piece B will be moving slower, since it has greater mass, but the momentums will be the same.

500 kg·m/s

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