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Two ice skaters have masses m1 and m2 and are initially stationary. Their skates are identical. They push against one another, as shown below, and move in opposite directions with different speeds. While they are pushing against each other, any kinetic frictional forces acting on their skates can be ignored. However, once the skaters separate, kinetic frictional forces eventually bring them to a halt. As they glide to a halt, the magnitudes of their accelerations are equal, and skater 1 glides 3 times as far as skater 2. What is the ratio m1/m2 of their masses?

  • Physics -

    Skater 1 was pushed by a heavier skater
    causing her to start with a higher velocity and a greater stopping distance.

    d = (Vf^2 - Vo^2)/2a.
    Vf = Final velocity = 0.
    Vo = Initial or starting velocity.

    m1/m2 = 1/3.

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