Physics 163

Unit 4: Momentum and Collisions

Problem Set B

Problem 12:

A small 24.1 gram fish moving with a speed of 36.9 cm/s is engulfed by a large fish which is initially at rest and has 3 times the mass of the little fish. Determine the post-lunch speed (in cm/s) of the big fish (with the small fish in its stomach).

• Read the problem carefully and diagram the physical situation (collision diagram)
• Identify known and unknown information in an organized manner (list on diagram)
• Take the time to plot out a strategy prior to beginning the solution
• Identify an appropriate formula to use (or use a momentum table)
• Perform step-by-step algebraic manipulations

General nformation about solving collision problems is described on the Set B Overview page.

A detailed description of the use of momentum conservation and proportional reasoning as a guide to thinking about collision problems is provided online at The Physics Classroom.

A detailed description of the momentum conservation principle is provided online at The Physics Classroom.

Detailed solutions and discussions of several sample momentum problems are provided online at The Physics Classroom.

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