Scalar quantity which is the magnitude of velocity.

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61
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16answers
15k 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 ...
38
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it fair to judge this speedskating race by only 3 thousands of a second?

I'm reading this article: Zbigniew Brodka of Poland won the Olympic men's 1,500 meters speed skating title by just 0.003 seconds at the Adler Arena on Saturday. Brodka clocked one minute, ...
29
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
830 views

Is it possible to travel at precisely the speed of sound?

I've been talking to a friend, and he said that it's impossible to travel at exactly the same speed as the speed of sound is. He argued that it's only possible to break through the sound barrier using ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

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

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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Why would a fat skydiver fall first in free fall?

I was having one of those obnoxious conversations with a friend where he was arguing that a fat skydiver would reach the ground faster than a skinny skydiver. To me it seemed as obvious that the world ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the speed of time

When we measure the speed of a moving element we do it with the help of a reference frame. Now if we need to measure the speed of time, is it possible? Is time really has speed? Thanks in advance.
8
votes
6answers
88k 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
votes
1answer
1k views
7
votes
2answers
484 views

Riddle about speed

This stems from a riddle I read in a magazine perhaps 20 years ago so I apologise for the imprecise recollection. A dog that can run infinitely fast is placed on an infinitely large flat surface and ...
6
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How does one derive the equation for the speed of sound?

In my acoustics books I see $$c^2 = \frac{\mathrm{d}P}{\mathrm{d}\rho}$$ where $c$ is the speed of sound, $P$ is the pressure and $\rho$ is the density. Where does this equation come from? In my ...
5
votes
2answers
264 views

Is there a limit to frames per second to be captured?

Today we see ~100,000 fps cameras for hyper slo-mo. Is there a physical limit for frames per second for a camera? Speed of light maybe? How?
5
votes
4answers
438 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
340 views

How fast do I need to go in order to avoid being seen by the Police?

I was driving down the road at roughly the speed of traffic. I saw a police officer parked on the side of the road, and also noticed that a Semi was traveling in the lane right next to him. This got ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How fast do electrons move through a conductor?

If I apply $1 \text{ V}$ across a $1 \text{ }\Omega$ resistance, I'd get $1 \text{ A}$ flowing. $1 \text{ A}$ is defined as $1 \frac{\text{C}}{\text{s}}$, and $1 \text{ C}$ is equivalent to ...
5
votes
2answers
236 views

Speed of sound in gaseous medium

Why does the speed of sound decrease as the density of the medium increases? I know why this happens mathematically, but I want to know what happens at the molecular level that results in higher speed ...
5
votes
3answers
292 views

Why does a “speed of sound” exist?

I've recently read that wind cannot be faster than the speed of sound (german source). But why is there a speed of sound? I understand (well, mostly accept to be honest) that the speed of light in ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to compute the speed of sound in relativistic hydrodynamic?

In Weinberg: Gravitation and Cosmology chapter 2.10 (Relativistic Hydrodynamics) the speed of sound is derived as $v_s^2 = \left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial \rho}\right)$ and the equation of state ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Help me get out of a speeding ticket

I was driving uphill from a complete stop for a distance of .4 miles estimated to take 1 minute in a navigation app. I was pulled over right after cresting the hill. The cop had me on radar going ...
4
votes
1answer
511 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
3k 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.
4
votes
3answers
227 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
3answers
385 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
787 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
330 views

Laws of aerodynamics after breaking the sound barrier

my knowledge of physics is not very extensive, so I hope my question isn't too stupid. I know that when (for instance) a plane breaks trough the sound barrier, the laws of the aerodynamics change. ...
4
votes
2answers
191 views

Gravitation not instantaneous = non elliptic orbits?

When I studied physics some time ago my teacher explained that if we consider the gravitational atraction not instantaneous, such as the General Relativity says, the planets would be attracted towards ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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
1answer
262 views

Does $\lambda\nu = c$ hold for all the waves in the universe?

Are all waves in the universe the same as electromagnetic waves? Basically, my question arises from an equation I found in my chemistry textbook: $$\lambda \nu ~=~ c.$$ This states that the ...
3
votes
5answers
934 views

comparing torque and 0-60 speed in cars

Im looking a two cars, both are the same model but ones got a 2.0L turbo petrol engine and ones got a 3.0L turbo diesel engine. These are the full specs 2.0L Petrol 3.0L Diesel what im ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Does friction decrease as objects move faster against each other?

I was told that the faster two objects move against each other, the less the friction between them would be… compared to if they were moving slower. In physics class, we always use the coefficient of ...
3
votes
1answer
395 views

How to Calculate temperature, given speed of sound and relative humidity?

I know the solution in reverse direction, but I find it very complex to go the other way around and calculate the temperature when given the speed of sound and relative humidity, any ideas?
3
votes
2answers
227 views

How much more energy would I spend if my bicycle was 2 kilos heavier? [closed]

I have a bicycle weighing 8 kilos. An 10 kilometer ride averaging 20 km/h requires z kWh's of energy. How much more energy would I spend if I added 2 kilos to my ...
3
votes
2answers
352 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
1answer
558 views

Local Mach number for an airfoil

I would like to know how to calculate the local Mach number on the upper surface of an airfoil given the ambient temperature, the local velocity on the airfoil surface, the freestream velocity, and ...
3
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
722 views

Wind effect on driving a ground-based vehicle

A friend of mine seems to think that wind affects the ground-speed of a ground-based vehicle in the same way airspeed affects an airborne aircraft. i.e. If faced with a 10mph headwind, your car isn't ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

How fast do molecules move in objects?

I guess it depends on the heat or the type of the material but can you give some examples or formulas to calculate it ? The best example would be the average speed of the air molecules (all types in ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

Photon speed going from $0$ to $c$ initially? [duplicate]

I have read many questions which ask whether there can be photons at speed other than the speed of light and all of them are answered no! But when the photon is created for ex during electron ...
2
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
158 views

How fast can fire spread?

You can build a home-made flamethrower by using a spray and a lighter: (from this YouTube video) But this can be dangerous if the fire gets in the can and the can explodes. So I guess the speed at ...