Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

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

Chapter 6 - Think and Discuss: 99


The first friend is correct.

Work Step by Step

Let the system consist of both balls. Suppose the golf ball heads to the right initially, with positive momentum of +1 unit. After the collision, the golf ball rebounds to the left at almost the same speed. Because of its negative velocity, it will have a negative momentum of about -1 unit. System momentum is conserved, so afterward, the bowling ball must have a positive momentum of +2 units so that the final momentum is 2 + (-1) = 1 unit, as before. Note that the bowling ball will not be moving very quickly because its mass allows it to have 2 units of momentum while moving much more slowly than a golf ball.
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