Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo
University Physics Volume 1

Additional Problems

University Physics Volume 1Additional Problems

Additional Problems


Two 70-kg canoers paddle in a single, 50-kg canoe. Their paddling moves the canoe at 1.2 m/s with respect to the water, and the river they’re in flows at 4 m/s with respect to the land. What is their momentum with respect to the land?


Which has a larger magnitude of momentum: a 3000-kg elephant moving at 40 km/h or a 60-kg cheetah moving at 112 km/h?


A driver applies the brakes and reduces the speed of her car by 20%, without changing the direction in which the car is moving. By how much does the car’s momentum change?


You friend claims that momentum is mass multiplied by velocity, so things with more mass have more momentum. Do you agree? Explain.


Dropping a glass on a cement floor is more likely to break the glass than if it is dropped from the same height on a grass lawn. Explain in terms of the impulse.


Your 1500-kg sports car accelerates from 0 to 30 m/s in 10 s. What average force is exerted on it during this acceleration?


A ball of mass mm is dropped. What is the formula for the impulse exerted on the ball from the instant it is dropped to an arbitrary time ττ later? Ignore air resistance.


Repeat the preceding problem, but including a drag force due to air of fdrag=bv.fdrag=bv.


A 5.0-g egg falls from a 90-cm-high counter onto the floor and breaks. What impulse is exerted by the floor on the egg?


A car crashes into a large tree that does not move. The car goes from 30 m/s to 0 in 1.3 m. (a) What impulse is applied to the driver by the seatbelt, assuming he follows the same motion as the car? (b) What is the average force applied to the driver by the seatbelt?


Two hockey players approach each other head on, each traveling at the same speed vivi. They collide and get tangled together, falling down and moving off at a speed vi/5vi/5. What is the ratio of their masses?


You are coasting on your 10-kg bicycle at 15 m/s and a 5.0-g bug splatters on your helmet. The bug was initially moving at 2.0 m/s in the same direction as you. If your mass is 60 kg, (a) what is the initial momentum of you plus your bicycle? (b) What is the initial momentum of the bug? (c) What is your change in velocity due to the collision with the bug? (d) What would the change in velocity have been if the bug were traveling in the opposite direction?


A load of gravel is dumped straight down into a 30 000-kg freight car coasting at 2.2 m/s on a straight section of a railroad. If the freight car’s speed after receiving the gravel is 1.5 m/s, what mass of gravel did it receive?


Two carts on a straight track collide head on. The first cart was moving at 3.6 m/s in the positive x direction and the second was moving at 2.4 m/s in the opposite direction. After the collision, the second car continues moving in its initial direction of motion at 0.24 m/s. If the mass of the second car is 5.0 times that of the first, what is the final velocity of the first car?


A 100-kg astronaut finds himself separated from his spaceship by 10 m and moving away from the spaceship at 0.1 m/s. To get back to the spaceship, he throws a 10-kg tool bag away from the spaceship at 5.0 m/s. How long will he take to return to the spaceship?


Derive the equations giving the final speeds for two objects that collide elastically, with the mass of the objects being m1m1 and m2m2 and the initial speeds being v1,iv1,i and v2,i=0v2,i=0 (i.e., second object is initially stationary).


Repeat the preceding problem for the case when the initial speed of the second object is nonzero.


A child sleds down a hill and collides at 5.6 m/s into a stationary sled that is identical to his. The child is launched forward at the same speed, leaving behind the two sleds that lock together and slide forward more slowly. What is the speed of the two sleds after this collision?


For the preceding problem, find the final speed of each sled for the case of an elastic collision.


A 90-kg football player jumps vertically into the air to catch a 0.50-kg football that is thrown essentially horizontally at him at 17 m/s. What is his horizontal speed after catching the ball?


Three skydivers are plummeting earthward. They are initially holding onto each other, but then push apart. Two skydivers of mass 70 and 80 kg gain horizontal velocities of 1.2 m/s east and 1.4 m/s southeast, respectively. What is the horizontal velocity of the third skydiver, whose mass is 55 kg?


Two billiard balls are at rest and touching each other on a pool table. The cue ball travels at 3.8 m/s along the line of symmetry between these balls and strikes them simultaneously. If the collision is elastic, what is the velocity of the three balls after the collision?


A billiard ball traveling at (2.2m/s)i^(0.4m/s)j^(2.2m/s)i^(0.4m/s)j^ collides with a wall that is aligned in the j^j^ direction. Assuming the collision is elastic, what is the final velocity of the ball?


Two identical billiard balls collide. The first one is initially traveling at (2.2m/s)i^(0.4m/s)j^(2.2m/s)i^(0.4m/s)j^ and the second one at (1.4m/s)i^+(2.4m/s)j^(1.4m/s)i^+(2.4m/s)j^. Suppose they collide when the center of ball 1 is at the origin and the center of ball 2 is at the point (2R,0)(2R,0) where R is the radius of the balls. What is the final velocity of each ball?


Repeat the preceding problem if the balls collide when the center of ball 1 is at the origin and the center of ball 2 is at the point (0,2R)(0,2R).


Repeat the preceding problem if the balls collide when the center of ball 1 is at the origin and the center of ball 2 is at the point (3R/2,R/2)(3R/2,R/2)


Where is the center of mass of a semicircular wire of radius R that is centered on the origin, begins and ends on the x axis, and lies in the x,y plane?


Where is the center of mass of a slice of pizza that was cut into eight equal slices? Assume the origin is at the apex of the slice and measure angles with respect to an edge of the slice. The radius of the pizza is R.


If 1% of the Earth’s mass were transferred to the Moon, how far would the center of mass of the Earth-Moon-population system move? The mass of the Earth is 5.97×1024kg5.97×1024kg and that of the Moon is 7.34×1022kg7.34×1022kg. The radius of the Moon’s orbit is about 3.84×105m3.84×105m.


You friend wonders how a rocket continues to climb into the sky once it is sufficiently high above the surface of Earth so that its expelled gasses no longer push on the surface. How do you respond?


To increase the acceleration of a rocket, should you throw rocks out of the front window of the rocket or out of the back window?

Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jan 19, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.