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In research in cardiology and exercise physiology, it is often important to know the mass of blood pumped by a person's brain in one stroke. This information can be obtained by means of a ballistocardiograph. The instrument works as follows: The subject lies on a horizontal pallet floating on a film of air. Friction on a pallet is negligible. Initially, the momentum of the system is zero. When the heart beats, it expels a mass m of blood into the aorta with speed v, and the body and platform move in the opposite direction with speed V. The speed of the blood can be determined independently (e.g., by observing an ultrasound Doppler shift). Assume that the blood's speed is 50.0 cm/s in one typical trial. The mass of the subject plus the pallet is 54.0 kg. The pallet moves at a speed of in 0.160 s after one heartbeat. Calculate the mass of the blood that leaves the heart. Assume that the mass of blood is negligible compared with the total mass of the person. This simplified example illustrates the principle of ballistocardiography, but in practice, a more sophisticated model of heart function is used. 

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Rochelle Enrera
Rochelle EnreraLv10
7 Dec 2020

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