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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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
494 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
120 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 ...
4
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3answers
185 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 ...
4
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2answers
135 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
149 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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1answer
128 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 ...
4
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2answers
662 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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2answers
1k views

Is there a 2D generalization of the coefficient of restitution?

The coefficient of restitution characterizes a collision in one dimension by relating the initial and final speeds of the particles involved, $$C_R = -\frac{v_{2f} - v_{1f}}{v_{2i} - v_{1i}}$$ In a ...
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2answers
261 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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1answer
93 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
4k 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
107 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
2k 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
384 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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6answers
4k 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 ...
3
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2answers
367 views

Is the speed of a person falling down different if doing a forward somersault during the fall?

Let's imagine this in an situation where a person jumps down from a smaller building, a garage for example. The exact numbers aren't really important here, since I'm not aiming for an exact answer, ...
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3answers
171 views

A particle of mass $m$ moves with constant speed $v$ along the curve $y^{2}=4a(a-x)$ [closed]

I have complications to do the following problem: A particle of mass $m$ moves with constant speed $v$ along the curve $y^{2}=4a(a-x)$. Find its velocity and acceleration vectors. My first idea was ...
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3answers
531 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 ...
3
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1answer
248 views

How deep is the well, given this data?

A rock is dropped into a well. A timer starts when the rock is dropped and is stopped when the noise of the rock hitting the ground of the well is heard. How deep is the well? Here's what I have so ...
3
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1answer
547 views

What is the longest distance that can be jumped after swinging from a rope?

In the movie Mission Impossible 3, the main character Ethan Hunt tries to enter a building in Shanghai by swing through the sky, as shown below: The jump consists of 2 sections, the red part, which ...
3
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1answer
32k views

Solving for initial velocity required to launch a projectile to a given destination at a different height

I need to calculate the initial velocity required to launch a projectile at a given angle from point A to point B. The only force acting on the projectile after launch will be gravity – zero air ...
3
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1answer
222 views

So what is happening in this angular kinematics equation?

The wheel of a car has a radius of 20 cm. It initially rotates at 120 rpm. In the next minute it makes 90 revolutions. What is the angular acceleration? So the answer is solved by using one ...
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3answers
75 views

The motion of the particle satisfies $\textbf{v} = \textbf{c}\times \textbf{r}$

Why does a particle with position $\textbf r(t)$ that satisfies $\textbf{v}(t) = \textbf{c}\times \textbf{r}(t)$ follow a circle that lies in a plane perpendicular to $\textbf{c}$ with centre on a ...
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1answer
3k views

How do kinetic energy and linear momentum relate?

It took me quite a long time to click my gears in place and even then I'm not sure it's completely correct. The problem is that I need to understand these concepts (physics concepts; not just these ...
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3answers
551 views

A freefalling body problem, only partial distance and time known

Well, I've been trying to figure out a problem which I imposed on myself, so no literal values included. Unfortunately, my brain is not cooperating. The problem states: What is the height from ...
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2answers
485 views

A block on a wedge

The system is as follows - Friction exists only between the 2 blocks. I am trying to find out the accelerations of $m_1$ and $m_2$. Let $a_2$ be acceleration of $m_2$, and $a_x$ and $a_y$ be the ...
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3answers
5k views

Angles on swing sets

I'm building a swing set for my children. All of the designs I've seen involve building two A-frames and connecting them at the top with a crossbar/beam from which hang the swings. The A-frames are ...
3
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1answer
205 views

A practical deceleration question

My friend is a U.S. Army paratrooper. Today, through an unfortunate series of events, he was jerked out of a C-17 traveling at 160 knots by his reserve parachute. First-hand accounts describe it as he ...
3
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2answers
331 views

Oscillation of a rolling sphere in a bowl [closed]

This is a homework task. I already came to a result but I am very unsure. The task: In a bowl with the shape of a semi-circle ($R$ = 0.5m) a sphere (there is no specification for the size of the ...
3
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3answers
557 views

How do I meaningfully divide by a vector?

How long does it take a baseball with velocity $(30, 20, 25) m/s$ to travel from location $r_1 = (3, 7,−9) m$ to location $r_2 = (18, 17, 3.5)m$? I am thinking that it should be the ...
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1answer
97 views

Galaxy Kinematic Fitting: How to deal with Point Spread Function (PSF)

The past few months I have been studying astronomy and Integral Field Spectroscopy (IFS). What I want to do is to fit a galaxy kinematic model to data (ie: estimate the model parameters that give the ...
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2answers
162 views

Rotational velocity of face-on spiral galaxies using spectroscopy

I am doing my first steps in spectroscopy (IFS actually) and how we can learn more about galaxies by using it. I came up with a simple question which, unfortunately, I can not answer: How can we ...
3
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2answers
594 views

Is a heavier skier faster? [duplicate]

Is it true that a heavier skier goes faster? If it is, why is that? My intuition would be that the speed gained by a skier should be independent from its mass, since both its acceleration and the ...
3
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1answer
434 views

How do I find the initial velocity in this problem?

An X-ray tube gives electrons constant acceleration over a distance of $20\text{ cm}$. If their final speed is $2.0\times 10^7\text{ m/s}$, what are the electrons' acceleration? I know this ...
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2answers
209 views

Find distance between turtles

I've been thinking about the following problem for some time now and was wondering if anyone could shed any light on it. At time $t = 0$, turtle A sits at ...
3
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1answer
383 views

Lab observation correct? As distance decreases, velocity increases, stderr decreases

The experiment goes like this: Allow a moving cart to move from the top of an incline plane ($x_0$) downwards. The time taken will be recorded by the picket fence (those things you see wired up). ...
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2answers
1k views

Formulas for ball rolling in a bowl?

I'm developing a program where I've a ball/sphere rolling in a bowl from the side at top, till the center at bottom, and I'm trying to get the formulas for: The rotation angle and the position of ...
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0answers
41 views

Acceleration: A ball sliding down the inside of a semicircular bowl

Edit: To clarify, this is a homework question. But I couldn't care less about getting the answer to this specific question as it's not even assigned yet. It looks interesting and I want to understand ...
3
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1answer
109 views

How to interpret $t^2$? [closed]

I can't think of the meaning of squaring the Time (multiplying it by itself). It makes sense in Mathematics. But how can you figure it out in nature (or physics). As an example, the formula ...
3
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1answer
125 views

Optimal velocity in rain [closed]

Problem statement: A sphere is rolling in rain from point A to point B. The vertical speed of rain is V and horizontal speed of rain is v, as shown in the picture. Angle between horizontal ...
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3answers
1k views

Does an object's kinetic energy increase, decrease, or stay constant when it reaches terminal velocity while falling?

Does an object's kinetic energy increase, decrease, or stay constant when it reaches terminal velocity while falling?
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8answers
2k views

Real world examples for projectile thrown upwards or downwards

I am preparing a physics course for high school about projectile motions. If a projectile moves with initial velocity $v_0$ in the gravitational field of the earth, the equation $$ s(t) = 1/2 g t^2 ...
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3answers
564 views

The velocity formula $\mathbf{v} = \mathbf{u} + \mathbf{a}t$ for 1D, 2D, 3D . What is the difference?

Could I use $\mathbf{v} = \mathbf{u} + \mathbf{a}t$ for calculating velocity in these 3 different dimensions? If not, what's the difference between these 3 dimensions? How would you calculate ...
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4answers
9k views

What does the magnitude of the acceleration mean?

I am a little confused as to what the magnitude of acceleration is and what it means.
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3answers
4k views

Kinetic energy and momentum conservation in an explosion?

My physics book says, "A firecracker sliding on ice has the same total momentum before and after it explodes." I understand this part. This is because of Newton's 3rd law, and no external forces. This ...
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2answers
919 views

Average velocity = Arithmetic Mean

I am having trouble grasping how the average velocity of a particle between an initial position and final position equals to the arithmetic mean of the initial velocity and the final velocity when the ...
2
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1answer
125 views

If 2 bodies are moving at equal speed parallel, and one throws something at a right angle to itself, will the thing thrown hit the other body?

Me and some friends were discussing the idea of (in a perfect scenario, no air resistance or gravity to affect the results) 2 bodies moving in the same direction exactly parallel to each other. If ...
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4answers
5k views

How to calculate displacement of an object [closed]

I am having a little bit of trouble with this following problem - Suppose a particle has initial velocity and is moving with a constant acceleration. After t seconds its velocity is v. What will its ...