college physics

three carts of masses 4.0kg, 10kg, and 3.0kg move on a frictionless horizontal track with speeds of 5.0m/s, 3.0m/s, and 4.0m/s. The carts stick together after colliding. find the velocity of the three carts.

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  1. I will have to assume that they were all moving in the same direction.
    Momentum is conserved here, energy is not.
    Initial momentum
    4*5 + 10*3 + 3*4 = 62 kg m/s
    final momentum
    (4+10+3)v = 17 v
    so
    17 v = 62
    v = 3.64
    However I do not think they will collide if they are all moving in the same direction at the beginning. After the 4 kg mass catches up and joins the 10 kg mass, the two together are unlikely to catch the 3 kg mass. I have a hunch something is wrong with your problem statement

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  2. Your 3rd velocity should be -4m/s. making it 4*5 + 10*3 - 3*4 = 38
    17v = 38
    v = 2.24m/s

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