A comet has broken into three pieces of masses m1, m2, m3 with velocities

v1, v2 and v3 respectively. Find the velocity v0 of the comet before it has

broken.

Printable View

- Dec 1st 2007, 03:01 AMUnoticedMechanics Question
A comet has broken into three pieces of masses m1, m2, m3 with velocities

v1, v2 and v3 respectively. Find the velocity v0 of the comet before it has

broken. - Dec 1st 2007, 03:06 AMCaptainBlack
- Dec 1st 2007, 03:08 AMUnoticed
Is this just M*v0 = m1*v1 + m2*v2 + m3*v3 where M is the mass of the comet before it breaks up?

- Dec 1st 2007, 06:07 AMtopsquark
Yes, but remember that this is a

*vector*equation, so the momenta add vectorally. (ie. if this is a problem in 2D then you actually have two equations:

$\displaystyle M*v_{0x} = m_1*v_{1x} + m_2*v_{2x} + m_3*v_{3x}$

and

$\displaystyle M*v_{0y} = m_1*v_{1y} + m_2*v_{2y} + m_3*v_{3y}$)

-Dan - Dec 1st 2007, 07:53 AMCaptainBlack