University Physics with Modern Physics (14th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0321973615
ISBN 13: 978-0-32197-361-0

Chapter 8 - Momentum, Impulse, and Collision - Problems - Discussion Questions - Page 263: Q8.21


It is not possible.

Work Step by Step

At the top of the parabolic trajectory, the shell (our “isolated system”) has a nonzero horizontal component of momentum. If both fragments fell straight downward after an explosion, the system would have no horizontal momentum immediately after the explosion. However, as there was no net external horizontal force during the explosion, the system’s horizontal momentum component cannot change. Therefore the situation described is an impossible one.
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