Let your mass to be M and the mass of the ball to be m.

Let the velocity of the ball to be v.

We have two cases, which we need to consider here:

__i. Deflecting the ball back__

The final velocity of the ball will be -v.

From the law of conservation of momentum:

M(0) + mv = -mv + Mv_{1}

You are standing on a skateboard, initially at rest. A friend throws a very heavy ball towards you. You can either catch the object or deflect the object back towards your friend (such that it moves away from you with the same speed as it was originally thrown). What should you do in order to minimize your speed on the skateboard?

a. Catch the ball.

b. Deflect the ball.

c. Your final speed on the skateboard will be the same regardless of whether you catch the ball or deflect the ball.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Meet/Catch Problems concept. You can view video lessons to learn Meet/Catch Problems. Or if you need more Meet/Catch Problems practice, you can also practice Meet/Catch Problems practice problems.