Akhtar, Kiran, and Rahul were riding in a motorcar that was moving with a high velocity on an expressway when an insect hit the windshield and got stuck on the windscreen. Akhtar and Kiran started pondering over the situation. Kiran suggested that the insect suffered a greater change in momentum as compared to the change in momentum of the motorcar (because the change in the velocity of the insect was much more than that of the motorcar). Akhtar said that since the motorcar was moving with a larger velocity, it exerted a larger force on the insect. And as a result the insect died. Rahul while putting an entirely new explanation said that both the motorcar and the insect experienced the same force and a change in their momentum. Comment on these suggestions.

Asked by Vishal kumar | 1 year ago |  361

1 Answer

Solution :-

Kiran’s suggestion is correct. The mass of the insect is very small when compared to the mass of the car. As per the law of conservation of momentum, the total momentum before the collision between the insect and the car is equal to the total momentum after the collision. Therefore, the change in the momentum of the insect is much greater than the change in momentum of the car (since force is proportional to mass).

Akhtar’s suggestion is also correct. Since the mass of the car is very high, the force exerted on the insect during the collision is also very high.

Rahul’s suggestion is partially correct. As per the third law of motion, the force exerted by the insect on the car is equal and opposite to the force exerted by the car on the insect. However, Rahul’s suggestion that the change in the momentum is the same contradicts the law of motion.

Answered by Shivani Kumari | 1 year ago

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