What is the momentum of a bowling ball and putty together after a 1-kg chunk of putty moving at 1 m/s collides with and sticks to a 5-kg bowling ball initially at rest?

1 Answer
Feb 18, 2018

This is known as a perfectly inelastic collision


The key to this is understanding that momentum will be conserved and that the final mass of the object will be #m_1+m_2#

So, your initial momentum is #m_1*v_1+m_2*v_2#, but since the 5kg bowling ball is initially at rest, the only momentum in the system is 1kg*1m/s = 1 Ns (Newton-second)

Then, after the collision, since that momentum is conserved,
#1 Ns = (m_1+m_2)v'# v' means the new velocity

So #1 Ns = (1kg+5kg)v'->{1Ns}/{6kg}=v'=0.16m/s#