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Akhtar, Kiran and Rahul were riding in a motorcar that was a high velocity on an expressway when an insect hit the windshield and got stuck on the windscreen . Akhtar and Kiran started pondering over the situation. Kiran suggested that the insect suffered a greater change in momentum as compared to the change in momentum of the motorcar (because the change in the velocity of the insect was much more than that of the motorcar). Akhtar said that since the motorcar was moving with a larger velocity, it exerted a larger force on the insect. And as a result, the insect died. Rahul while putting an entirely new explanation said that both the motorcar and the insect experienced the same force and a change in their momentum. Comment on these suggestions.

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The suggestion made by Kiran that insect suffered a greater change in momentum as compared to the change in momentum of the motor car is wrong. The suggestion made by Akhtar that motor car exerted a large force on the insect because of large velocity of motor car is also wrong. The explanation put forward by Rahul is correct. On collision of insect with motorcar, both experience the same force as action and reaction are always equal and opposite. Further, change in their momenta are also the same. Only the sign of changes in momenta are opposite,i.e., change in momenta of the two occur in opposite directions, though magnitude of change in momentum of each is the same.

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