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# Impulse on a Baseball

## Learning Goal: To understand the relationship between force, impulse, and

momentum.

The effect of a net force acting on an object is related both to the force and

to the total time the force acts on the object. The physical quantity impulse is
a measure of both these effects. For a constant net force, the impulse is given
by

.
The impulse is a vector pointing in the same direction as the force vector. The

units of are or .
Recall that when a net force acts on an object, the object will accelerate,

causing a change in its velocity. Hence the object's momentum ( ) will also
change. The impulse-momentum theorem describes the effect that an impulse
has on an object's motion:

.
So the change in momentum of an object equals the net impulse, that is, the net
force multiplied by the time over which the force acts. A given change in
momentum can result from a large force over a short time or a smaller force
over a longer time.
In Parts A, B, C consider the following situation. In a baseball game the batter

swings and gets a good solid hit. His swing applies a force of 12,000 to the ball

for a time of .
Part A

Assuming that this force is constant, what is the magnitude of the impulse on
the ball?
Enter your answer numerically in newton seconds.
ANSWE 8.4
R: 0
Cor
=
rect

We often visualize the impulse by drawing a graph of force versus time. For a
constant net force such as that used in the previous part, the graph will look like

## the one shown in the figure.

Part B
The net force versus time graph has a rectangular shape. Often in physics
geometric properties of graphs have physical meaning.
ANSWE area
R: For this graph,
the Correct of the rectangle corresponds to the
Top of Form Bottom impulse.
of Form

The assumption of a constant net force is idealized to make the problem easier
to solve. A real force, especially in a case like the one presented in Parts A and
B, where a large force is applied for a short time, is not likely to be constant.
A more realistic graph of the force that the swinging bat applies to the baseball
will show the force building up to a maximum value as the bat comes into full
contact with the ball. Then as the ball loses contact with the bat, the graph will
show the force decaying to zero. It will look like the graph in the figure.
Part C
If both the graph representing the constant net force and the graph
representing the variable net force represent the same impulse acting on the
baseball, which geometric properties must the two graphs have in common?
ANSWE
maximum
R:
force

area

slope

Correct
When the net force varies over time, as in the case of the real net force acting
on the baseball, you can simplify the problem by finding the average net force

acting on the baseball during time . This average net force is treated as a

constant force that acts on the ball for time . The impulse on the ball can

then be found as .
Graphically, this method states that the impulse of the baseball can be
represented by either the area under the net force versus time curve or the
area under the average net force versus time curve. These areas are
represented in the figure as the areas shaded in red and blue respectively.
The impulse of an object is also related to its change in momentum. Once the
impulse is known, it can be used to find the change in momentum, or if either
the initial or final momentum is known, the other momentum can be found.

## Keep in mind that . Because both impulse and momentum are

vectors, it is essential to account for the direction of each vector, even in a one-
dimensional problem.
Part D
Assume that a pitcher throws a baseball so that it travels in a straight line
parallel to the ground. The batter then hits the ball so it goes directly back to
the pitcher along the same straight line. Define the direction the pitcher
originally throws the ball as the +x direction.
ANSWE n e g a t iv e
R:
Cor
rec
The impulse on the ball caused by the bat t
will be in the Bot
x direction.
Top of Form to
m
of
For
m

Part E
Now assume that the pitcher in Part D throws a 0.145- baseball parallel to

the ground with a speed of 32 in the +x direction. The batter then hits the
ball so it goes directly back to the pitcher along the same straight line. What is
the ball's velocity just after leaving the bat if the bat applies an impulse of

to the baseball?
Enter your answer numerically in meters per second.
ANSWE -
R: 25.
9
= Cor
rect
The negative sign in the answer indicates that after the bat hits the ball, the
ball travels in the opposite direction to that defined to be positive.

## The angle between the ball's initial

velocity vector and the wall is as shown on the diagram, which depicts the
situation as seen from above. The duration of the collision between the ball and
the wall is , and this collision is completely elastic. Friction is negligible, so the
ball does not start spinning. In this idealized collision, the force exerted on the
ball by the wall is parallel to the x axis.
Part A

What is the final angle that the ball's velocity vector makes with the negative
y axis?
Hint
How to approach the problem
A.1
Hint not displayed
Hint
Find the y component of the ball's final velocity
A.2
Hint not displayed

Hint
A.3 Find the component of the ball's final velocity
Hint not displayed
Hint
Putting it together
A.4
Hint not displayed
Express your answer in terms of quantities given in the problem introduction.
ANSWE
R:
Co
= rre
ct

Part B

What is the magnitude of the average force exerted on the ball by the wall?
Hint
What physical principle to use
B.1
Hint not displayed
Hint
Change in momentum of the ball
B.2
Hint not displayed
Express your answer in terms of variables given in the problem introduction
and/or .
ANSWE
R:

Co
= rre
ct

## A One-Dimensional Inelastic Collision

Block 1, of mass = 4.10 , moves along a frictionless air track with speed

## = 13.0 . It collides with block 2, of mass = 53.0 , which was initially at

rest. The blocks stick together after the collision.

Part A

Find the magnitude of the total initial momentum of the two-block system.
Hint
How to approach the problem
A.1
Hint not displayed
ANSWE 53.
R: 3
= Cor
rect

Part B

## Find , the magnitude of the final velocity of the two-block system.

Hint
How to approach the problem
B.1
Hint not displayed
ANSWE 0.9
R: 33
Cor
= rec
t

Part C

## What is the change in the system's kinetic energy due to the

collision?
Hint
Find the initial kinetic energy
C.1
Hint not displayed
ANSWE -
R: 32
2
Co
=
rre
ct

## Collisions in One Dimension

On a frictionless horizontal air table, puck A (with mass 0.252 ) is moving

toward puck B (with mass 0.370 ), which is initially at rest. After the collision,

puck A has velocity 0.118 to the left, and puck B has velocity 0.648 to
the right.
Part A

## What was the speed of puck A before the collision?

Hint
How to approach the problem
A.1
Hint not displayed
Hint
The initial momentum
A.2
Hint not displayed

Hint
Find the final momentum of puck A
A.3
Hint not displayed
Hint
Find the final momentum of puck B
A.4
Hint not displayed

ANSWE 0.8
R: 33
Cor
= rec
t

Part B

Calculate , the change in the total kinetic energy of the system that occurs
during the collision.
Hint
How to approach the problem
B.1
Hint not displayed
Hint Find the initial kinetic energy of puck A
B.2
Hint not displayed

Hint
Find the final kinetic energy of puck A
B.3
Hint not displayed
Hint
Find the final kinetic energy of puck B
B.4
Hint not displayed

ANSWE −8.0
R: 8×10
−3
= Corre
ct

## A bullet of mass is fired horizontally with speed at a wooden block of mass

resting on a frictionless table. The bullet hits the block and becomes
completely embedded within it. After the bullet has come to rest within the

## block, the block, with the bullet in it, is traveling at speed .

Part A
Which of the following best describes this collision?
Hint
Types of collisions
A.1
Hint not displayed
ANSWE
perfectly
R:
elastic

partially
inelastic

perfectly
inelastic

Correct

Part B
Which of the following quantities, if any, are conserved during this collision?
Hint
When is kinetic energy conserved?
B.1
Hint not displayed
ANSWE
kinetic energy only
R:
momentum only

## neither momentum nor kinetic

energy

Correct

Part C
What is the speed of the block/bullet system after the collision?
Hint
Find the momentum after the collision
C.1
Hint not displayed
Hint
Use conservation of momentum
C.2
Hint not displayed

## Express your answer in terms of , , and .

ANSWE
R:

= Corre
ct

Problem 9.13

A child in a boat throws a 5.35- package out horizontally with a speed of 10.0
.
Part A
Calculate the velocity of the boat immediately after, assuming it was initially at

rest. The mass of the child is 23.0 and that of the boat is 35.0 . (Take the
package's direction of motion as positive.)
ANSWE -
R: 0.9
22
= Cor
rec
t

Problem 9.35

A 0.475- hockey puck, moving east with a speed of 5.30 , has a head-on

## collision with a 0.880- puck initially at rest.

Part A
Assuming a perfectly elastic collision, what will be the speed of each object
after the collision?
Enter your answers numerically separated by a comma.
ANSWE 1.58,3.72
R: All attempts used;
,
=
displayed

Part B
What will be the direction of the lighter object after the collision.
ANSWE
We
R:
st
Eas
t

Correct

Part C
What will be the direction of the heavier object after the collision.
ANSWE
We
R:
st
Eas
t

Correct

Problem 9.51

## 5.0×10−2 before coming to rest. The coefficient of kinetic friction between

the block and table is 0.60.
Part A
What is the initial speed of the bullet?
Express your answer using two significant figures.
ANSWE 59
R: 0
Cor
= rec
t

Part B
What fraction of the bullet's initial kinetic energy is dissipated (in damage to
the wooden block, rising temperature, etc.) in the collision between the bullet
and the block?
Express your answer using two significant figures.
ANSWE 1.
R: 0
C
or
=
re
ct

Problem 9.89

A gun fires a bullet vertically into a 1.40- block of wood at rest on a thin

horizontal sheet.
Part A

If the bullet has a mass of 18.5 and a speed of 310 , how high will the
block rise into the air after the bullet becomes embedded in it?
ANSWE 0.8
R: 34
Cor
= rec
t
Problem 9.99

## Two balls, of masses = 46 and = 64 , are suspended as shown in the

figure. The lighter ball is pulled away to a 66 angle with the vertical and

## released. Assume that the positive axis is directed to the right.

Part A
What is the velocity of the lighter ball before impact?
Express your answer using two significant figures.
ANSWE
R: 1.9
All attempts used; correct

Part B
What is the velocity of each ball after the elastic collision?
numerically separated by a comma.
ANSWE -
R: 0.3
,
= 1,1.
6
Cor
rect

Part C
What will be the maximum height of each ball after the elastic collision?
numerically separated by a comma.
ANSWE 4.9×
R: 10−3
, ,0.13
= Corre
ct

Problem 9.100

A block of mass 2.50 slides down a 30.0 incline which is 3.60 high. At the

## bottom, it strikes a block of mass 6.05 which is at rest on a horizontal

surface. (Assume a smooth transition at the bottom of the incline.)

Part A
If the collision is elastic, and friction can be ignored, determine the speed of the

## block with mass 2.50 after the collision.

ANSWE 3.4
R: 9
Cor
= rec
t

Part B
If the collision is elastic, and friction can be ignored, determine the speed of the
blockwith mass 6.05 after the collision.
ANSWE 4.9
R: 1
Cor
= rec
t

Part C
How far back up the incline the smaller mass will go.
ANSWE 1.2
R: 4
Cor
= rec
t

Collision at an Angle

Two cars, both of mass , collide and stick together. Prior to the collision, one

car had been traveling north at speed , while the second was traveling at

speed at an angle south of east (as indicated in the figure). After the collision,

Part A

## Find the speed of the joined cars after the collision.

Hint
Determine the conserved quantities
A.1
Hint not displayed
Hint
The component of the final velocity in the east-west direction
A.2
Hint not displayed

Hint
Find the north-south component of the final momentum
A.3
Hint not displayed
Hint
Math help
A.4
Hint not displayed

## Express your answer in terms of and .

ANSWE
R:
=
Correct

Part B

What is the angle with respect to north made by the velocity vector of the two
cars after the collision?
Hint
B.1 A formula for
Hint not displayed

## Express your answer in terms of . Your answer should contain an inverse

trigonometric function.
ANSWE
R:

displayed