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Question

A child sits stationary at one end of a long trolley moving uniformly with a speed V on a smooth horizontal floor. If the child gets up and runs about on the trolley in any manner, what is the speed of the CM of the (trolley + child) system ?

Solution
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The child is running arbitrarily on a trolley moving with velocity V. However, the running of the child will produce no effect on the velocity of the centre of mass of the trolley. This is because the force due to the boy’s motion is purely internal. Since no external force is involved in the boy–trolley system, the boy’s motion will produce no change in the velocity of the centre of mass of the trolley.

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