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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457 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
175 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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2answers
1k 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
365 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 ...
4
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3answers
733 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
383 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 ...
4
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2answers
288 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 ...
3
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2answers
871 views

How can an object move from point A to point B?

If I was at point $A$ and I wanted to walk directly to point $B$, I would have to walk half way to point $B$, but before that I would have to walk half way to halfway to halfway to point $B$ and half ...
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3answers
2k views

Free falling objects

My teacher and I are in the middle of an argument because she says that if you were to drop two objects at the same time and the same height, but with different initial velocities, both of them would ...
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3answers
5k views

Proof of centripetal acceleration formula ($a_c = v^2/r$) 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 ...
3
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2answers
689 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 ...
3
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1answer
617 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 ...
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1answer
105 views

Contradiction of a scalar product

Can anyone resolve this contradiction: ...
3
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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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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
307 views

Calculating Kryptonian speed in the movie “Man of Steel”

This is my first question, so I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but: How would you go about calculating the speed of Kryptonians in the movie Man of Steel (2013)? Specifically, I'm ...
3
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2answers
121 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
534 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
219 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 ...
3
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1answer
66 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 ...
3
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1answer
561 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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2answers
415 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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2answers
147 views

Intepretation of area under velocity-time graph for a bouncing ball

A typical velocity-time graph for a bouncing ball is shown below. I understand that the ball starts from rest at $t=0$, then it accelerates downwards and hits the floor at time $t_1$. Between time ...
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3answers
322 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 ...
3
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1answer
403 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
votes
1answer
767 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
52k 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
votes
1answer
399 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
201 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
1k 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
81 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
231 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 ...
3
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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
697 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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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3answers
800 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?
3
votes
1answer
92 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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3answers
707 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
965 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

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
9k 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
votes
1answer
238 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
872 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
93 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
684 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 = ...
3
votes
1answer
129 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
228 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
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 ...