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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
3answers
2k views

Distance travelled in free-fall

When an object is in free fall, we have: $a(t) = g - \frac{c}{m}v(t)^2$ where $g$ is acceleration due to gravity, $m$ is the mass of the object, and $c$ is the coefficient of air resistance. How ...
3
votes
1answer
412 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Direction of motion

What does the term direction of motion actually mean? Is it a direction where a particle is moving or the direction of its velocity? For example, what is the direction of motion of a projectile in ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
3k views

3D: Get linear velocity from position and angular velocity

I want to find out the linear velocity of a point in 3D space, (Euclidean), given: Its position Its angular velocity The point it's rotating around (fulcrum) (This is a problem I need to solve ...
3
votes
1answer
625 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 satellite ...
3
votes
1answer
77k 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
2answers
461 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

Why do tops move opposite to each other when colliding, not tangentially?

When two well-balanced tops collide, they tend to bounce directly away from each, in other words along the line connecting their centers. Intuitively I would expect the tops to move tangentially, not ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Does a rotating object have more inertia, mass and gravitational pull?

When an object is rotating on an axis, it has stored rotational energy in it. Since energy and mass are related, does this stored rotation increase the mass of the object? And if so, will it be harder ...
3
votes
2answers
452 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 $...
3
votes
2answers
382 views

Rolling as pure rotation

In my book the following statement was written and I didn't understand it well. Can anyone explain it in a more simple way? Figure 11-6 suggests another way to look at the rolling motion of a ...
3
votes
1answer
597 views

Where can I find the list of the planetary motion equations?

The planetary motion equations are written in the ellipse equation format, i.e. $$x^2/a + y^2/b = 1.$$ Can anyone please tell me where I can find the list of all the planetary motion equations, (...
3
votes
3answers
404 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
votes
1answer
615 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
975 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
votes
1answer
747 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
183 views

if a body is stopped by means other than friction, where does energy go?

Suppose we have an object in space. say gravity is negligible, and the thing has a rocket on both sides. the thing fires one rocket for, say, 5 seconds. now it's moving. The object has kinetic energy. ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
93 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
5k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
738 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
votes
2answers
4k 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
votes
3answers
1k 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
3answers
1k views

Negative vectors (e.g. velocity)

If you said someone had a velocity of $-12\,{\rm mph}$ and they were traveling north? Wouldn't it mean that they were traveling $12\,{\rm mph}$ south? This is a quote from here: if something [...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Watching Airplanes Fly Toward You

Recently, I was enjoying the stars on a cool summer night and saw an airplane flying toward me from the distance. I observed its path as it started out as a small dot in the distance until it flew ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

Best way of calculating average acceleration in lab experiments

I am doing a lab experiment that works as follows. An object moves along the $x$ axis with an initial acceleration and then moves with a pretty constant velocity that may slightly vary within $20\%$ (...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

What happens when two bodies collide in a dynamics point of view?

I'm a high school student learning about energy and momentum. What confuses me is the things with elastic and inelastic collisions. I completely (in my opinion) understand those concepts in energy ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

What is the intuitive meaning of $Q^2$?

In particle physics, $-Q^2$ is defined by the four momentum transfer squared: $$Q^2 = -(p_i - p_f)^2 = (\vec{p}_i-\vec{p}_f)^2-(E_i-E_f)^2$$ For elastic scattering, the meaning of $Q^2$ is clear - it ...
3
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
733 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 displacement ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
12k 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
273 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
votes
2answers
106 views

What are the Kinematics of an Irregular Tripod?

It is a common maxim (at least within the Scouting community) that a triangle is the most stable shape. In practice this means structures should have three legs whenever possible, and have cross-bars ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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
176 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
votes
2answers
311 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
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
618 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 equation ...
3
votes
2answers
250 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 $(0,0)...
3
votes
1answer
966 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). ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Finding the max height of a ball launched as a projectile using work-energy

A ball is launched as a projectile with initial speed $v$ at an angle $\theta$ above the horizontal. Using conservation of energy, find the maximum height $h_\text{max}$ of the ball's flight. Express ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Branching ratio for a bound state

Consider the meson $\Upsilon(10860)$. It decays into $B\bar{B}$, $B\bar{B}^*+cc$ and $B^*\bar{B}^*$. The mass of $B$ is $5.28 ~\textrm{ GeV}$ and mass of $B^*$ is $5.33~\textrm{ GeV}$. The branching ...