A hammer of mass 500 g, moving at 50 m/s, strikes a nail. The nail stops the hammer in a very short time of 0.01 s. What is the force of the nail on the hammer?


Mass of the hammer (m) = 500 g = 0.5 kg

The initial velocity of the hammer (u) = 50 m/s

Time is taken by the nail to the stop the hammer (t) = 0.01 s

The velocity of the hammer (v) = 0 (since the hammer finally comes to rest)

From Newton’s second law of motion

f = m (v – u) / t

Where f = force

f = 0.5 × (0 – 50) / 0.01

f = -2500 N

-ve sign indicates the force of nail on the hammer moving in the opposite direction to that of hammer movement.

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