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A 10 g bullet is fired into, and embeds itself in, a 2 kg block attached to a spring with a force constant of 19.6 n/m and whose mass is negligible. How far is the spring compressed if the bullet has a speed of 300 m/s just before it strikes the block and the block slides on a frictionless surface? Use conservation of momentum.

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3 answers

  1. After the bullet embeds inside the block, is it going to be m1+m2?

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  2. Now I get it, thanks.

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  3. Conservation of momentum tells you the velocity V' of the block and embedded bullet before the spring gets compressed.

    0.010 kg*300 m/s = V' * (2.01 kg)
    Solve for V'.

    Energy is conserved during spring compression.

    (1/2) k X^2 = (1/2) (M+m) V'^2

    k is the spring force constant. M is block mass. m is bullet mass.

    Solve for spring compression X

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