The description of the movement of bodies by their position, velocity, acceleration (and possibly higher time derivatives, such as, jerk) without concern for the underlying dynamics/forces/causes.

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What is “kinematic inversion” (from geophysics) in mathematical terms?

I am a mathematician working on a seismic imaging problem, and am currently (attempting to) read some geophysics papers (this one (Ruiz, Madariaga 2011) and this one (Di Carli, Francois-Holden, ...
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972 views

How does an object's motion behave if dropped from an aeroplane travelling diagonally upwards?

Imagine an aeroplane travelling with velocity $v$ at some angle $\alpha$ from East to North. A box is dropped from the aeroplane. What would the projectile of the box be? Would it be a parabola with ...
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Why there is a 1/2 in kinetic energy formula? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is there a $\frac 1 2$ in $\frac 1 2 mv^2$? Hèllo, I have a question about kinetic energy formula. As you know, in kinetic energy formula, we have: ...
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2k views

Why isn't average speed equal to displacement over time?

I'm in an introductory Physics course and I need help! During a one-hour trip, a small boat travels 80.0km north and then travels 60.0km east. What is the boat's average speed during the one-hour ...
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In calculating work done by a constant force over a constant distance, why doesn't the subject's initial velocity matter?

Assume a point-mass $m$ is travelling in a straight line, and a force $F$ will act on $m$ (in the same direction as $m$'s velocity) over a constant distance $d$; why doesn't $m$'s velocity matter to ...
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Ball thrown from a moving train

This is not a question about throwing a ball vertically in a moving train. I am asking what would happen if I throw a ball in a horizontally in a moving train. Assume I am facing an exit door of a ...
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253 views

If an electric car were to drive without having to stop, would the range be greatly affected by the speed at which the vehicle is moving?

Of course aerodynamics factors into this question, and the faster you are moving the more air you have to push out of your way, the more energy you use. But would the difference be only a small ...
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2k views

How to tell if the collision is elastic or inelastic?

I'm a programmer and a game developer, not a mathematician or a physicist. So please go easy on the math :) I know two things: How to find the new velocities of two objects after an elastic ...
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691 views

Zeno’s Paradox of the Arrow

Premises And the Conclusion of the Paradox: (1) When the arrow is in a place just its own size, it’s at rest. (2) At every moment of its flight, the arrow is in a place just its own size. (3) ...
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15k views

Difference between momentum and kinetic energy

From a mathematical point of view it seems to be clear what's the difference between momentum and $mv$ and kinetic energy $\frac{1}{2} m v^2$. Now my problem is the following: Suppose you want to ...
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648 views

Does a force really act on a body during a collision?

Consider two bodies A(black) and B(red) having equal mass. A is moving at a constant speed towards B, which is stationary. At certain point of time, they collide elastically, $\therefore u_{A}=v_{B}$ ...
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236 views

Walking along a moving train, we make 18 steps. Opposite: 11. How long is the train?

A man walks in the same direction as a slowly moving train ($v_{man} > v_{train}$). He counts the train to be 18 steps long. Then he turns around and counts the train to be 11 steps long. ...
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1answer
159 views

How to calculate the kinetic energy of supernova ejecta?

I believed I could use $0.5\times M_{ej} V_{ej}^2$, with $M_{ej}$ being the ejected mass and $V_{ej}$ being the velocity of the ejected mass. But I noticed in this and this that the the mean velocity ...
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2answers
154 views

View from a helicopter rotor: why is the horizon distorted?

This video ("rotor panorama") was captured by a camera attached to the rotor head of a radio-controlled helicopter, with the frame rate set to the rotor's frequency. During a long segment of the ...
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112 views

How long does it take to optimally change position and velocity?

A spaceship moving in two dimensions is at position $(x, y)$ and has a velocity $(v_x, v_y)$. It also has a maximum acceleration $a_{max}$. Its goal is to be at position $(x', y')$ with a velocity of ...
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167 views

Which came first, movement or heat?

According to my measly understanding of the universe, when particles hit one another, some of their kinetic energy is transformed into heat. But when we heat particles (for instance, putting a bucket ...
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1k views

Rigid body dynamics joints

I can't seem to find any info on connected rigid bodies by a joint. Can someone explain the basics to me? I'm trying to do a little research to find out how feasible it would be to implement 3d ...
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2answers
1k views

Help me get out of a speeding ticket

I was driving uphill from a complete stop for a distance of .4 miles estimated to take 1 minute in a navigation app. I was pulled over right after cresting the hill. The cop had me on radar going ...
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4answers
958 views

How can there be really any instantaneous velocity?

I have read about Zeno's arrow paradox that tells us there is no motion of the arrow at a particular instant of its flight. It can be inferred that there can be no velocity at any instant. Moreover we ...
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2answers
7k views

How can an object's instantaneous speed be zero and it's instantaneous acceleration be nonzero?

I'm studying for my upcoming physics course and ran across this concept - I'd love an explanation.
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3answers
771 views

Why does light travel at the same speed when measured by a moving observer? [duplicate]

I know the hypothesis that the light speed is constant is retained by experiments. But is there any theory explaining why the light speed is constant no matter how an observer moves relative to light? ...
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2answers
237 views

Does a tire need to slip to generate force?

Recently, I have been doing some research on racing and tire modelling. While I was doing this, I encountered many curves like those shown below. While I understand the need of slip angles to ...
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362 views

Newton's First Law of Motion; Empirical Aspects

Newton's first law states that in an inertial frame, a body at rest continues to be at rest, and a body in constant rectilinear motion continues its motion, unless an external force is applied upon ...
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3answers
290 views

When can one write $a=v \cdot dv/dx$?

Referring to unidimensional motion, it is obvious that it doesn't always make sense to write the speed as a function of position. Seems to me that this is a necessary condition to derive formulas ...
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124 views

The velocity of a cloud?

I noticed an unusually fast moving cloud this morning. My questions: What is the average velocity of a cloud on Earth? What is the greatest ever recorded cloud velocity? What factors affect the ...
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2k views

Why do cars gain lift while going at a high speed?

I've been researching the physics involved with spoilers and I've just been turning up the same information about spoilers giving the back wheels of a car more traction by acting as an up side down ...
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155 views

Work done on stationary rocket

Suppose I have a rocket thats exerts a force (with negligible loses in mass), which cancels out the downward force of gravity. Clearly my rocket could be moving at a constant velocity (ignore air ...
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2answers
166 views

Does $y$-motion really have nothing to do with $x$-motion?

I am watching a Physics 1 for physical science majors on coursera.com, and in one of the concept tests there is a question that goes like this; "A bullet is fired horizontally from a rifle on the Moon ...
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573 views

Does entropy apply to Newton's First Law or does “acted upon” always require an external factor?

First law: Every body remains in a state of rest or uniform motion (constant velocity) unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force. This means that in the absence of a non-zero net ...
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1answer
428 views

Philae lander simulation off by factor of ~3

I'm trying to simulate the Philae landing by writing a program to compute the position of the lander vs time. According to various mission websites, the orbiter will match its orbit to the rotation of ...
4
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1answer
140 views

How to track the visual path of a LEO satellite as seen from the ground

I have been struggling with this problem for a while so I decided to ask. I'm new here and I'm not sure where this type of question belongs, so forgive me if this isn't the right section. I am ...
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756 views

Can these figures demonstrating the safety of “Archery Tag” arrows be correct?

There is a new sport called "Archery Tag" that involves shooting opponents with foam-tipped arrows fired out of a real bow. The official Archery Tag web site presents data that claims to show the ...
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3answers
552 views

Does more rain strike a vehicle while moving or while stopped (or neither)? [duplicate]

Assume there is a rainstorm, and the rain falling over the entire subject area is perfectly, uniformly distributed. Now assume there are two identical cars in this area. One is standing still, and ...
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2answers
315 views

Best shape to reduce the splash of a droplet?

Our coffee machine catches the last couple of droplets, after your cup is removed on a shape to reduce plash of the coffee droplets. These shapes are placed inside the spill reservoir. The shape ...
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8answers
522 views

Can velocity be an undefined quantity?

We have the image below displaying the uniform velocity by time-distance graph. At every point velocity is constant but what if distance and time both become zero as at origin in the graph is? The ...
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2answers
614 views

How much does it cost every time your car stops for a traffic light?

Every time we have to stop the car, it is costing us extra money, because we have to then accelerate to full speed again. I would like to know how much. In order to simplify the situation, we can ...
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2answers
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Proof of centripetal acceleration formula ($a_c = \frac{v^2}{r}$) for non-uniform circular motion

The formula for centripetal (radial) acceleration is well known, and there exist many proofs for it: $$||a_c|| = \frac{||v||^2}{r}$$ However, all the proofs I've seen rely on the fact that it is ...
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1answer
485 views

Two vehicles moving in a line with different accelerations

Let two similar vehicles starting at rest in a straight line (with a distance of $D$ between them) have time-varying accelerations in the same direction. If both of them have similar time varying ...
3
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1answer
99 views

Contradiction of a scalar product

Can anyone resolve this contradiction: ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Why is the velocity on the top of a wheel twice the velocity of its axle?

When a wheel is rolling, not skidding, and its axle moves at velocity $\vec{v}$, then a point on the top of its circumference will move at velocity $2\vec{v}$, shown below. I really don't ...
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3answers
6k views

Maximum range of a projectile launched from elevation “dumbed down”

I am trying to conceptually understand why the angle which produces the greatest range for a projectile launched with an elevation is not 45 degrees. I have exausted all other options, and I hope that ...
3
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2answers
111 views

Sign of acceleration

I'm developing an application using accelerometer sensor. I'm not good at physics so forgive me if the question is trivial. If I have 3 values of acceleration: $x$, $y$, $z$, I find acceleration ...
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2answers
3k views

Why is average velocity the midpoint of initial and final velocity under constant acceleration?

Since average velocity is defined as$^1$ $$\vec{\mathbf v}_\mathrm{av}=\frac{\vec{\mathbf x}-\vec{\mathbf x}_0}{t-t_0},$$ where $\vec{\mathbf x}$ denotes position, why is this quantity equal to ...
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2answers
492 views

The Double Integrator: Matching velocity and position as quickly as possible with only a limited amount of force available

If a body with mass $m$ begins at position $x_0$ with velocity $v_0$ and experiences a force that varies as a function of time $f(t)$ (and we ignore gravity, friction, and everything else that might ...
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3answers
214 views

Object docking in Space

How do objects dock in space? There's a recent piece of news that Keppler would dock to the ISS sometime this week. I want to know the operational aspects of it - considering the velocity of the ...
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1answer
44 views

$v^2 = 2ax$ or $v^2 = ax$?

As far as I am aware, $v^2 = 2ax$ is the formula to find the velocity in various questions. If kinetic energy = work, $$\frac{1}{2}mv^2=Fx$$ $$mv^2=2max$$ $$v^2=2ax$$ We use this formula to solve ...
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224 views

Two runners on two different tracks

I got a question from a textbook, as follows. On two different tracks, the winners of the one-kilometer race ran their races in 147.95 seconds and 148.15 seconds. In order to conclude that the ...
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3answers
995 views

Physical Variables of Circular Motion

To me, the definitions of variables involved in circular motion are rather confusing (perhaps due to the lack of understanding on my part), hence the question. As I understand it, there are two ...
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1answer
504 views

From how deep into space can a human “skydive” back to earth? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: From how high could have Felix Baumgartner jumped without disintegrating like a shooting star? If a human can skydive from an altitude of 24 miles (39 km), and a ...
3
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6answers
5k views

Ion Drive Propulsion Top Speed

I would like to know if there is some formula / graph which would provide / show the efficiency of a certain type of propeller in space. Specifically, I'm interested in the acceleration attainable at ...