AP Physics 1 Question 83: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 83

3. A toy car and a toy truck collide. If the toy truck’s mass is double the toy car’s mass, then, compared to the acceleration of the truck, the acceleration of the car during the collision will be

  • A. double the magnitude and in the same direction
  • B. double the magnitude and in the opposite direction
  • C. half the magnitude and in the same direction
  • D. half the magnitude and in the opposite direction

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

B We know that the forces during a collision are an example of an action-reaction pair. This means the force on the car will be equal in magnitude but opposite in direction compared to the force on the car. Because the forces are in opposite directions, the accelerations will be as well. Eliminate (A) and (C). Because the forces are equal in magnitude, Newton's Second Law tells us that the acceleration of the lighter object will be double the acceleration of the heavier object. Eliminate (D). Therefore, the answer is (B).