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Video - MythBusters - Crash Force

Mythbusters crew decided to revisit an old myth that was drawing the ire of the show's fans for quite some time. And it's sure to be an interesting topic to automotive enthusiasts.

When two cars collide, each traveling 50 miles per hour, does the resulting force equal one car hitting an immovable object at 100 miles per hour?

It seems like such simple physics, no? But don't forget Newton's third law. To quote the great Wikipedia of knowledge, "Whenever a first body exerts a force F on a second body, the second body exerts a force −F on the first body. F and −F are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction." Or, more simply, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
 

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shibby
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Hmm, I think I agree with Jamie's initial thought about two 50 mph vehicles = one 100 mph vehicle when referring to an impact of an object at the center of two moving objects. The original myth was a car in between two trucks and Jamie was referring to what forces the car would have experienced, not the trucks. I would've liked to have seen what an object would have looked like after being hit by two 50 mph objects coming from opposite directions simultaneously.
 

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Hmm, I think I agree with Jamie's initial thought about two 50 mph vehicles = one 100 mph vehicle when referring to an impact of an object at the center of two moving objects. The original myth was a car in between two trucks and Jamie was referring to what forces the car would have experienced, not the trucks. I would've liked to have seen what an object would have looked like after being hit by two 50 mph objects coming from opposite directions simultaneously.
You are correct, sir! There was still 2x the force applied. Each car absorbed the same amount of the impact. The forced was doubled, but was shared by the 2 cars.
 
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