# Broken Baseball Bat

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by LoveMyRam, May 12, 2008.

1. ### LoveMyRam

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If a person hit a ball with a baseball bat, and broke the bat, would the ball not go as far as it would have if the bat was not broken through the hit?

3. ### BerkReviewTeach Company Rep & Bad Singer Exhibitor

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Trust your intuition more than anything. What have you observed and what do you suspect?

To help answer the question, you need to consider conservation of energy and conservation of momentum. Momentum is retained by the broken bat.

On the energy front, does breaking the bat absorb energy? If it does, what does this do to the amount of energy transferred to the ball? If the the bat breaks (a type of deformation), is the collision more on the elastic or inelastic side?

4. ### eikenhein my cat is awesome, his name is bandit Lifetime DonorClassifieds Approved

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Depends on when the bat broke. At the beginning of swing before the energy was imparted to the ball, or at the end of the swing when the ball is already off and away?

5. ### Character

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wont go as far...energy went into breaking the bat...thus, less transferred to the ball..

6. ### physics junkie

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In my opinion it is generally a bad idea to speculate loosely because there are a lot of factors at play. You have barely defined the question and not set up any quantitative way to compare the two situations. You didn't even define what you mean by a bat breaking. BRT already stated the main tools you would use to approach such a problem so I won't repeat those but I think it would be impossible to solve this problem unless you simplified it by making some assumptions. If you want people to do all the leg work for you try posting on physicsforums.com.

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