Conservation of Momentum
The case of the gangster and the gun
   
       
    Date : May 2008
Author : Camil Cyr, Adaptated by : Caroline Viger
College : Collège de Maisonneuve, John Abbott College
Length : 1-2 hours
Related concept(s) : Kinetic energy, Inelastic collision
    The students are members of a production team for a television series. Their first task is to respond to a question sent in by one of their viewers, who has asked, "Can the impact of a bullet cause a person to be propelled over a distance of a few metres?" In order to answer the question correctly, the production team will need to determine the gangster's velocity after impact with the bullet, as well as the amount of energy dissipated in the collision between the gangster and the bullet.