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A satellite explodes in outer space, far from any other body,sending thousand of pieces in all direction.How does the linear momentum of the satellite before the explosion compare with the total linear momentum of all the pieces after the explosion ?

  • phsc -

    If the external force on the satellite is zero, the linear momentum will be conserved. This would be the case for a satellite out in the space where the gravitational pull of earth is nearly zero.

    In such a situation the fragments will fly off in all the directions obeying the conservation principle of momentum

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