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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100 views

Contradiction of a scalar product

Can anyone resolve this contradiction: ...
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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 ...
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2answers
115 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
4k 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
508 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
216 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
55 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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3answers
1k 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
525 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 ...
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6answers
6k 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 ...
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2answers
400 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
307 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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1answer
386 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 ...
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1answer
706 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 ...
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1answer
49k 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 ...
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1answer
351 views

What is the origin of the naming convention for position functions?

In physics, position as a function of time is generally called d(t) or s(t). Using "d" is pretty intuitive, however I haven't ...
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3answers
104 views

Does my (too low) tire pressure, affect the speedometer of my car?

Does my (too low) tire pressure, affect the speedometer of my car? How big is this effect?
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2answers
714 views

Why and when do we differentiate or integrate equations in physics? [closed]

I'm an engineering student and none of my professors ever explained why do we use derivations and/or integrations in physics. So I have this task, it goes like: The object is moving in a positive ...
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3answers
80 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
219 views

Calculating the path of a ball with spin moving across a table

A ping pong ball is rolling over a smooth (but not frictionless) table. During its travel, a clockwise spin is placed on the ball. The ball's path is changed to move to the right (in perspective from ...
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1answer
4k 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
678 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
3k views

Why does an airliner burn more fuel at lower altitudes?

At lower altitude an aeroplane usually has more lift. However an aeroplane flying at low altitudes (with gear/flaps up) at low velocity burns the same amount of fuel it would flying much faster at a ...
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3answers
746 views

How would you move without gravity?

I'm wondering how would you move without gravity? You would still have air pressure at 1Atm. Would you "swim" in the air or would you have do something else?
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1answer
80 views

Non-deterministic particle system

This question is in the spirit of Norton's dome, an example of an apparently non-deterministic system in Newtonian mechanics. Under certain restrictions, the Picard–Lindelöf theorem guarantees the ...
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2answers
874 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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2answers
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How do I find minimum constant deceleration so that object does not pass distance d in time t?

I'm working on a problem for an online judge site. I've boiled down the problem to this calculation: given a vehicle with an initial velocity $v$, how can one calculate the minimum constant ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
226 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 ...
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2answers
773 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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1answer
86 views

Applying kinematics issue

I've been having an unusually difficult time solving kinematics problems in comparison to all the other students in the classroom. It appears that I'm one of the unfortunate people with an anti-math ...
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3answers
579 views

Does a heavy body move with the slightest force on a frictionless surface?

If I apply horizontal force on a body resting on the ground, my force will be opposed by the frictional force and the body will accelerate at the point where my force exceeds the force of friction = ...
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3answers
688 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
122 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 ...
3
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2answers
221 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
503 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
227 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
580 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
2k 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 ...
3
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1answer
39 views

Special relativity kinematics problem

I have this problem in SR kinematics. a spaceship travels near earth at c/2. it shoots off a light-ray at 45deg to its direction of travel (measured in its own ref frame). What is this angle in the ...
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1answer
286 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 ...
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1answer
120 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 ...
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2answers
250 views

Projectile motion maximum distance to origin

Is there an elegant or easy way to derive the maximum distance from the origin to a point of the parabola created by projectile motion (assume initial position is the origin)? Other than ...
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1answer
144 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
3k 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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4answers
1k views

Is there a formula that gives the position of an object depending on the time, but which doesn't allow the object to surpass the speed of light?

I have found these two formulas: $v = at + v_0$ $x = \frac{1}{2}at^2 + v_0t + x_0$ a is the acceleration v is the velocity x is the position t is the time $v_0$ is the initial velocity $x_0$ is ...
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4answers
360 views

What causes a car's velocity to follow the front wheels' direction?

I'm trying to simulate a car with correct physics models. In this example we let the car have a constant speed, and there are no forces (friction and drag) to slow down the speed. Here's a video that ...
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3answers
523 views

Object moving in a circular path without accelerating

A train is moving with a constant speed on a straight portion of track. Then, it encounters a curve in the tracks, and goes along the curve. However, it does not change the magnitude of acceleration ...
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3answers
9k 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 ...