Question

A 1550 kg car moving south at 12 m/s with a 2550kg van moving west. The vehicles stick together and move at 36 degrees south of west after the collision. Calculate (a) the initial velocity of the 2550 kg van and (b) the final velocity of the car and van. Please include a picture/diagram with your work.

Answer #1

We can consider the conservation of linear momentum in the south
direction.

M_{C} v_{S} = M V sin 36

Where M_{c} is the mass of the car, v_{s} is the
velocity along the south direction of the car, M is the combined
mass of the car and the van and V is the final velocity of the
combined system.

1550 kg x 12 m/s = (1550 + 2550) V sin 36

V = 7.72 m/s

a) The initial velocity of the van can be found from the momentum
conservation along the west direction.

M_{V} v_{W} = M V cos 36

We need to find v_{w} , the velocity of the van.

2550 kg x v_{w} = (1550 + 2550) x 7.72 x cos
36

v_{w} = 10.04 m/s

The initial velocity of the van is 10.04 m/s

b) The final velocity of the car and van is found to be

V = 7.72 m/s

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