Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 6 - Think and Discuss: 92

Answer

Consider the whole Earth and the car as our system. Then, the change of momentum of the car (downward impulse) is canceled by an equal and opposite change of momentum of the Earth (an upward impulse that results from the car pulling up on the Earth). When the car crashes on the canyon floor, it transfers its momentum to Earth, slowing the Earth's upward motion. The momentum of the system is conserved throughout the process.
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