Work Step by Step
The final height of the bowling ball depends upon the impulse delivered to it by each object. The moral is not to ignore the vector nature of momentum and impulse. The rubber ball and putty each have the same momentum just before they contact the bowling ball. The change in momentum of the rubber ball is greater when it rebounds, compared to the putty’s change in momentum, which is simply brought to a dead stop. The rubber ball was not only brought to rest, but the greater impulse delivered to it reversed its momentum and sent it back the way it came. Each object delivers an impulse to the bowling ball that is equal and opposite to the impulse it received from the bowling ball. The rubber ball imparts a greater impulse to the bowling ball than the putty does, sending the bowling ball farther up.