Explosion and Collision

A space probe explodes in flight into three equal portions. One portion continues along the original line of flight. The other two go off in directions each inclined at 60º to the original path. The energy released in the explosion is twice as great as the kinetic energy possessed by the probe at the time of the explosion. Determine the kinetic energy of each fragment immediately after the explosion.


Analyze the problem:

With the word explosion we should know that it could involve conservation of momentum and kinetic energy.

What are the given information?

  1. Three fragments of exploded probe that have equal masses
  2. Direction of probe is φ=0º with the horizontal.
  3. Directions of motion of each fragment after explosion are: fragment 1 (θ1=60º with the horizontal), fragment 2 (θ2=0º with the horizontal), fragment 3 (θ3=-60º with the horizontal).
  4. Total energy released during explosion is twice the total kinetic energy of the probe.

What are the needed information?

  1. The final kinetic energy for each fragment of the probe immediately after explosion.