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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Recommendations for good Newtonian mechanics and kinematics books

What are some good books for learning the concepts of Kinematics, Newton laws, 2D Motion of Object etc.?
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16answers
14k views

Why does kinetic energy increase quadratically, not linearly, with speed?

As Wikipedia says: [...] the kinetic energy of a non-rotating object of mass $m$ traveling at a speed $v$ is $mv^2/2$. Why does this not increase linearly with speed? Why does it take so much ...
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2answers
1k views

Physics of simple collisions

I'm building a physics simulator for a graphics course, and so far I have it implementing gravitational and Coulomb forces. I want to add collisions next, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about ...
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6answers
15k views

Is two cars colliding at 50mph the same as one car colliding into a wall at 100 mph?

I was watching a youtube video the other day where an economist said that he challenged his physics professor on this question back when he was in school. His professor said each scenario is the same, ...
7
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6answers
82k views

How to calculate average speed [closed]

I recently encountered a puzzle where a person drove 120 miles at 40mph, then drove back the same 120 miles at 60mph. The average of the speeds is (40mph+60mph)/2 = 50mph, so the total trip time ...
7
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4answers
662 views

Integrating radial free fall in Newtonian gravity

I thought this would be a simple question, but I'm having trouble figuring it out. Not a homework assignment btw. I am a physics student and am just genuinely interested in physics problems involving ...
7
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5answers
795 views

Should you run when under rain?

When it's raining, would you get less wet if you run or more wet? I think you will get less wet, because rain is coming down in a constant volume and if you run you will have a shorter amount of time ...
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2answers
347 views

How do I adjust the kinematic equations to avoid reaching speeds faster than light?

I like some 'science' in my 'science fiction', so I started crunching out the kinematic equations for some of the scenarios my characters are getting involved in, and ran smack dab into an issue. ...
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2answers
2k views

What will be the relative speed of the fly? [duplicate]

It has happened many times and i have ignored it everytime. Yesterday it happened again . I was travelling in a train and saw a fly (insect) flying near my seat. Train was running at a speed of ...
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5answers
12k views

How to get distance when acceleration is not constant?

I have a background in calculus but don't really know anything about physics. Forgive me if this is a really basic question. The equation for distance of an accelerating object with constant ...
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1answer
30k 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 ...
8
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3answers
729 views

Number of planks required to stop the bullet [closed]

A bullet looses (1/n)th of its velocity passing through one plank. The number of such planks that are required to stop the bullet can be? Logically, to me the answer seems to be infinity, as always a ...
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2answers
9k 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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2answers
352 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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1answer
164 views

Is it possible to rotate an angle on perfectly smooth ice?

You must start and end with the same pose. Prove it if you think you can't.
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11answers
34k views

What is the difference between “kinematics” and “dynamics”?

I have noticed that authors in the literature sometimes divide characteristics of some phenomenon into "kinematics" and "dynamics". I first encountered this in Jackson's E&M book, where, in ...
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2answers
2k views

Galilean invariance of the Schrodinger equation

I am only asking this question so that I can write an answer myself with the content found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Likebox/Schrodinger#Galilean_invariance and here: ...
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3answers
3k views

Can superconducting magnets fly (or repel the earth's core)?

If a superconducting magnet and appropriate power supply had just enough $I\cdot s$ (current $\cdot$ length) so that when it was perpendicular to the earth's magnetic field, the force of the ...
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4answers
1k views

Why does a ball bounce lower?

If a ball hits the floor after an acceleration then why does it bounces lower? I mean the Energy is passed to the floor then why does the floor give back less Energy?
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2answers
3k 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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2answers
458 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
4k views

Preventing a block from sliding on a frictionless inclined plane

I want to demonstrate what force $F$ you would have to exert on an inclined plane of angle $t$, mass $M$ to prevent a block on top of it with mass $m$ from sliding up or down the ramp. I worked out ...
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2answers
270 views

Doubt concerning centripetal acceleration

What is the centripetal acceleration and angular velocity of a child located 8.2 m the center of a carousel? The speed (size of the tangential velocity) of the child is 2.1 m / s A train moves in a ...
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3answers
1k views

Uniform Circular Motion

Why does the object not go inward, into the circle if the acceleration is inward? I think its because the velocity to outward? So they sort of cancel each other out? But if the speed is kept ...
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1answer
350 views

what is the kinematics of a particle with complex mass?

particles with real-mass have time-like kinematics ($ds^2 > 0$). particles with zero-mass have light-like kinematics ($ds^2 = 0$). particles with imaginary-mass have space-like kinematics ($ds^2 < ...
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3answers
181 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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1answer
652 views

Kinematics with non constant acceleration

A particle experiences an acceleration described by $$ a=kx^{-2} $$ where x is the displacement from the origin and k is an arbitrary constant. To what value does the velocity v of the particle ...
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2answers
366 views

Conservation of linear momentum magnitude along a trajectory

I was once criticized for "taking angular momentum as momentum going in a circle". I was loosely trying to state, in classical mechanics, that in using conservation of momentum, one can switch between ...
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3answers
291 views

Functions of Time

1) Is position a function of time only or also velocity? Likewise, is velocity a function of time only or also the position? 2) The following are functions of time: $s(t)$ = distance a particle ...
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1answer
1k views

Trajectory of projectile thrown downhill

I'm teaching myself mechanics, and set out to solve a problem determining the optimum angle to throw a projectile when standing on a hill, for maximum range. My answer seems almost plausible, except ...
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3answers
995 views

Very basic question: When to use $s=vt$, $s=1/2vt$, $s=at$ and $s=a/t^2$?

Very basic question: When to use $s=vt$, $s=\frac{1}{2}vt$, $s=at$ and $s=\frac{a}{t^2}$? What was the difference between those?
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5answers
6k views

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: ...
10
votes
1answer
553 views

Why there is a $\frac{1}{2}$ in the distance formula $d=\frac{1}{2}at^2$?

I'm preparing for my exam, but I have difficulties in perceiving why there is a $\frac{1}{2}$ in the distance formula $d=\frac{1}{2}at^2$?
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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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4answers
19k views

What is the relationship between kinetic energy and momentum?

I can't seem to figure out the relationship between $E_k$ and $p$ or $F$. I understand that the units are pretty different. But for example: A bullet with a mass of 10.0g is moving at the speed of ...
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5answers
2k views

Can an object reverse its direction of acceleration even though it continues to move in the same direction?

Can anyone please explain me on this matter along with day to day examples?
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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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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 ...
2
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2answers
108 views

Acceleration vector for an object moving in a elliptic trajectory

I am interested in deriving what the radial and tangential components of the acceleration vector should be for an object following an elliptical trajectory centered on the origin, in which the ...
2
votes
2answers
602 views

How to calculate a firing location from point of impact data?

I would like to know how to calculate the point at which a bullet is fired from a gun given information from the scene where the bullet falls. The scene would contain the point of impact (GPS ...
2
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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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2answers
106 views

Kinematics question - Newton's Law of Motion [closed]

Question: Find the mass M of the hanging block in the following figure which will prevent the smaller block from slipping over the triangular block. All the surfaces are frictionless and the strings ...
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2answers
304 views

Using acceleration to plot position

Sorry if this question is dumb, and I know is physics 101, but I'm not that good with physics. I'm writing an iPhone program that by collecting the acceleration data of the device tries to replicate ...
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3answers
948 views

Does an airplane's speed include the speed of the Earth?

After take off, does airplane's speed include Earth's movement/speed? Do airplanes turn with Earth movement/rotation?
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4answers
723 views

Why does a ping pong ball change direction when I spin it on a table?

When I spin a ping pong ball on the table, it rolls forward in the opposite direction of the spin, and then eventually changes direction and rolls backward. Here's a video demonstrating the effect. ...
5
votes
4answers
348 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
133 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 ...
3
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1answer
334 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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3answers
495 views

Getting position from an accelerometer on an Android phone

I know that integrating acceleration twice will give me position (acceleration-->velocity-->position) but how can I do all this when I all I have are a set of data points (ex: 1 second = some # ...
2
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1answer
250 views

Relativistic kinematics of particle decay

Suppose a particle decays to three other particles. The masses of all particles are assumed to be known and we work in the rest frame of the parent particle. So there are 12 parameters for this ...