Different versions of this question have come up all over the internet. Usually it deals with tension in a rope or two people pushing on each other with the same force. I am trying to understand 2 people pushing each other with different forces.
Say two people of equal mass are standing on a frictionless surface, touching palm to palm, and they push off of each other at the same time with different amounts of force. Say the person on the left pushes with 100 N and the person on the right pushes with 70N. What happens to this system? It seems like there should be a net force of 30 N to the right, but at the same time, each person pushing should feel the same force pushing back as per Newton's 3rd Law.
If I push on you with 100 N then I also feel the 100 N from the force pair and we slide apart each having been accelerated by 100 N. If you push on me with 70 N then I feel the 70 N force and I exert 70 N back on you, we slide apart each having felt 70 N this time. But what happens when we both push with a 100 N and 70 N respectively?
Also, I have seen elsewhere on this site that if 2 people were to push on each other with the same force under conditions like those in the scenario above, they each feel the same force but fly apart at double the final velocity because the same force has been applied for twice the distance. Is this actually the case?