Scalar quantity which is the magnitude of velocity.

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121
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17answers
31k 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 $\frac{1}{2}mv^2$. Why does this not increase linearly with speed? Why does it take ...
16
votes
3answers
7k views

How does electricity propagate in a conductor?

On a systems level, I understand that as electrons are pushed into a wire, there is a net field and a net electron velocity. And I've read that the net electron drift is slow. But electricity ...
19
votes
8answers
12k views

Accelerating particles to speeds infinitesimally close to the speed of light?

I'm in a freshmen level physics class now, so I don't know much, but something I heard today intrigued me. My TA was talking about how at the research facility he worked at, they were able to ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is there a controversy on whether mass increases with speed?

Some people say that mass increases with speed, some people say that the mass of an object is independent of its speed. I understand how some (though not many) things in physics are a matter of ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Speed of a particle in quantum mechanics: phase velocity vs. group velocity

Given that one usually defines two different velocities for a wave, these being the phase velocity and the group velocity, I was asking their meaning for the associated particle in quantum mechanics. ...
-2
votes
1answer
291 views

Something almost faster than light traveling on something else almost faster than light [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Travelling faster than the speed of light Double light speed Lets say that an airplane can fly at 4/5 of the speed of light, and I can run at 2/5 of the speed of ...
17
votes
7answers
6k views

Why does the speed of light $c$ have the value it does? [duplicate]

Why does light have the speed it does? why is it not considerably faster or slower than it is? I can't imagine science, being what it is, not pursuing a rational scientific explanation for the speed ...
8
votes
6answers
17k views

How fast is Earth moving through the universe?

As the galaxy is moving and the solar system orbiting the galaxy and the Earth orbiting the sun. So how fast is each object moving and what is the fastest we move at? Do we even know how fast the ...
7
votes
6answers
183k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

Is escape velocity really a velocity (rather than a speed)?

The term escape velocity is quite common to us. But we know velocity is a dimension dependent on the direction. But the escape velocity has same value irrespective of from where it is thrown from the ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

When photons are emitted, do they accelerate to reach the speed of light? [duplicate]

Photons are considered mass-less particle with a specific velocity but according to the electromagnetic theory, a photon is considered to have both energy and momentum. So what happen when they are ...
3
votes
2answers
221 views

Sounds of supersonic objects

Would you, as a stationary observer, hear a sound in reverse when the source of the sound travels with twice the speed of sound? Of course, he wouldn't hear anything at all before the airplane passed ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

How can I calculate the wave propagation speed in a copper wire?

First of all: I am a computer science student, so I don't have much knowledge of physics. So please keep your answers simple. I recently learned something about circuit design and its problems ...
23
votes
9answers
19k views

Can a human size object move so fast that it ceases to be observable?

In many anime, comics, movies, etc, we see a lot of super human beings moving and fighting at such high speeds that a regular human being cannot see that they are fighting or moving pass by. In ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Which derivation of drift velocity is correct?

In the derivation of drift velocity I have seen two variations and want to know which one's correct. $s=ut+\frac{at^2}{2}$ Assume that the drift velocity of any electron in any conductor is : ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views
8
votes
4answers
9k views

Is a signal traveling through fiber faster than a signal traveling through copper?

Does the transmission medium affect the speed of a signal? For instance does light traveling through a fiber cable get a bit from A => B faster than copper can transmit a bit the over the same ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

how does air pressure affect the speed of sound

How does air pressure affect the speed of sound in relation to its kinetic theory etc? I have tried searching this but i have not found a suitable answer as other websites simply related to air ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Is there an equation to calculate the average speed of liquid molecules?

I seem to remember from first year physics that we can calculate the RMS speed of a stationary, ideal gas with $v=\sqrt{\frac{3RT}{M}}$. Does a similar equation exist for liquids?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is speed an intensive property?

I remember being taught in elementary physics that while it makes sense to add volumes, masses, or heat, it makes no sense to add temperatures. As I wanted to use that to illustate some other issue, ...
7
votes
7answers
739 views

Shouldn't the Uncertainty Principle be intuitively obvious, at least when talking about the position and momentum of an object?

Please forgive me if I'm wrong, as I have no formal physics training (apart from some in high school and personal reading), but there's something about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle that strikes ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How to relate speed of sound with relative humidity?

I am exploring the idea of measuring the humidity of a space using sound waves, however I am having trouble finding a mathematical relationship between the speed of sound and the humidity level. ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the wheel of a car appear to be moving in opposite direction?

When a car is about to stop, the speed of its wheel reduces. Why do we see or feel that the wheel of the car is moving in the opposite direction? This can also be observed of a fan at home. So why ...
4
votes
1answer
671 views

How does a particle of light reach the max speed of light? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can a photon have no mass and still travel at the speed of light? First of all I am not a professional physicist. I was curious as to how a particle of light can ...
3
votes
2answers
327 views

Steel rod to Mars vs the speed of sound, how is supersonic travel possible?

I remember reading this passage in the "Feynman Lectures", where Dr. Feynman describes an experiment in which a theoretical metal rod of length equal to the distance between Mars and Earth is arranged ...
3
votes
2answers
813 views

Origin of motion and relative speed of bodies in the universe

Charged particles can hit the earth at relativistic speeds. But it seems that all large bodies have fairly low relative speed. Of course, speed can increase considerably when a body orbits close to a ...
3
votes
3answers
20k views

Why does an object with higher speed gain more (relativistic) mass? [duplicate]

Today, in my high school physics class, we had an introductory class on electromagnetism. My teacher explained at some point that an object with a very high speed (he said it started to get somewhat ...
1
vote
3answers
313 views

Speed of heat / quantification of heat and other magnitudes

Is the speed of heat infinite? When solving the heat equation in a semi-infinite bar, we can see that a pulse in the finite end draws an immediate change in every point of the bar. So, at any given ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Time dilation due to change in speed

I can't get something strait... Lets use the usual example: A man is flying away from earth on a very fast spaceship. So, His time is now not moving in the same "speed" like earth time but slower. But ...
31
votes
3answers
4k views

Speed of sound at temperatures below 0 °C

How can the speed of sound be calculated for temperatures below 0 °C (down to -40 °C)? Does the calculation $v=331\ \frac{m}{s} + 0.6 \frac{m}{s°C} \times T$ still hold (where T's unit is ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Maximum speed of a rocket with a potential of relativistic speeds

Ultimately, the factor limiting the maximum speed of a rocket is: the amount of fuel it carries the speed of ejection of the gases the mass of the rocket the length of the rocket ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the speed of the propellant limit the speed of a space ship in open space?

Isn't speed a relative thing in space? If so, why would the speed of a propellant matter? Why can't a space ship accelerate infinitely?
3
votes
2answers
8k views

Calculate speed from accelerometer

I am trying to use my accelerometer on my mobile device (smart watch to be specific) to calculate a persons arm swing speed. The data returned from the accelerometer is in $m/s^2$. Since the ...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

Effect of position on a motorbike turning

While searching tips for driving a motorbike on wet roads safely, I heard some pilots saying to lean inside the slope makes the bike less tilted, so it's safer. I agree leaning make the bike less ...
7
votes
1answer
16k views

How fast would someone have to run to run over water?

I was thinking about Flash, the superhero, or the little boy in the Incredibles. There is one Yahoo answer that doesn't answer a lot. Especially, I don't think surface tension would help a lot for a ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Fuel usage at the same constant rpm at different gears

I've had a discussion with my father today, about the fuel usage of a vehicle at the same rpm, but a different gear. He claims that the following situations have the same fuel usage: ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How fast would an object have to move to create a vacuum behind it?

When an object moves, I assume that the air above it, instead of remaining at the same general height, is pulled downward as it is passed in order to fill the low-pressure area behind the object where ...
0
votes
2answers
793 views

Why does time exist? [closed]

So I have been thinking about some subjects and one of it involves time. And I tried writing a story/question on here to summarize the bigger picture but it's not going to happen it's too complicated ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

If we could not see, would we think that nothing can go faster than sound?

And if so, then why does everybody keep asserting nothing can go faster than light speed (I'm implicitly assuming there could be something which we do not observe, which goes faster than light)?
5
votes
3answers
278 views

If an electric car were to drive without having to stop, would the range be greatly affected by the speed at which the vehicle is moving?

Of course aerodynamics factors into this question, and the faster you are moving the more air you have to push out of your way, the more energy you use. But would the difference be only a small ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How does the speed of electrons change around a circuit?

I have been thinking about ways of teaching electronics and I'm wondering if the following is true... For starters, when we talk about voltage as energy per unit charge, is this energy manifest ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

How Felix Baumgartner has reached the speed of sound quickly

I have watched Felix Baumgartner freefall; but I wonder how Felix has reached the speed of sound quickly, in a matter of some seconds, then we had no idea of its speed? Any explanation please.
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Where to find the current positions and velocities of the planets?

I've written a program which simulates the motions of planets and other bodies. I'd like to run it on our own solar system, but to do so I need to know the current positions (preferably in ...
2
votes
1answer
484 views

How to find speed when accelerating down a slanted wire

I saw this picture on one of my social media sites with the caption, "I'd do this in a heart beat! Who's with me!" I was about to go balls to the walls and say, "I'm in! When and where??" But then ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Does travelling towards something at relativistic speed cause it to appear to speed up?

If one were to travel towards a giant TV floating in space, at a fraction of the speed of light, would a video playing on the TV appear to play faster? I'm guessing the answer is no. From what I ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Why does the wavelength gets shorter in the denser medium in refraction? [duplicate]

In the refraction, the wavelength gets shorter if it enters denser medium. Why is that happening? Is it just a phenomenon?
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What causes an increase in sound speed in a medium?

Its an established fact that increase in the temperature causes increase in speed of sound waves but what is the property which is changed by changing temperature ? Does frequency and wavelength get ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

How does acceleration affect the orbit?

I want to know what roughly happens if we hit an orbiting body a little. And how is it possible that most of the objects have seemingly circular orbits around. How do they stabilize? I ask because it ...
1
vote
1answer
425 views

Spinning theoretical object moving faster than the speed of light [duplicate]

Let's say you have the Earth, or any celestial body, spinning as it is. What if you build a tower from the surface, and extended it out into space. If it was built far enough, could the furthest end ...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

How fast does the water have to go? [closed]

I have a pot of water. There is a one-way filter at the bottom right: How fast would the water have to be travelling to go into the tank via the one-way filter? Also, I would like to have some ...