The time rate of change of the position of an object

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If I run along the aisle of a bus traveling at (almost) the speed of light, can I travel faster than the speed of light?

Let's say I fire a bus through space at (almost) the speed of light in vacuum. If I'm inside the bus (sitting on the back seat) and I run up the aisle of the bus toward the front, does that mean I'm ...
38
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4answers
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Can water falling from a tap follow a spiral path?

The faucet design depicted below is driving me crazy. The water falling from the tap appears to follow a spiral path. No one seems to agree whether it is physically possible for the water to spin in ...
34
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8answers
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Why does a free-falling body experience no force despite accelerating?

Note: For the purposes of my question, when I refer to free fall assume it takes place in a vacuum. From my (admittedly weak) understanding of the equivalence principle, falling in a gravitational ...
30
votes
5answers
4k views

Why don't things get destroyed by gas molecules flying around?

Gas molecules go at an insane velocity, and though they are miniscule, yet there is a LOT of them. Of course, because of all these molecules hurtling around, there is air pressure; yet if you envision ...
20
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1answer
857 views

What determines the speed of waves in water?

While I was walking my dog this morning, I passed over a canal filled with boats, barges, and kayaks all of different masses and moving at different speeds. I noticed that all of these vessels left ...
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7answers
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How can kinetic energy be proportional to the square of velocity, when velocity is relative?

Let's start with kinetic energy (from los Wikipedias) The kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion. It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a ...
18
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6answers
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Double light speed

Let's say we have $2$ particles facing each other and traveling at speed of light Let's say I'm sitting on #$1$ particle so in my point of view #$2$ particle's speed is $c+c=2c$, double light speed? ...
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11answers
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Why does the (relativistic) mass of an object increase when its speed approaches that of light?

I'm reading Nano: The Essentials by T. Pradeep and I came upon this statement in the section explaining the basics of scanning electron microscopy. However, the equation breaks down when the ...
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3answers
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When passed, why does my car 'rock' on the highway when I'm stopped, but not when I'm moving?

I am the blue car in this scenario. If I am stopped on the highway and am passed by a car going fast (about 65 mph), I feel my car rock in the left/right direction. I think I understand why this ...
13
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5answers
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Why and how does negative velocity exist?

Why and how does negative velocity exist? I have read on the internet about negative velocity but I still don't understand how it can even exist since time is positive and so is length. By doing some ...
13
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3answers
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How to derive addition of velocities without the Lorentz transformation?

Lorentz contraction and time dilatation can be deduced without Lorentz transformation. Can you deduce also the theorem of addition of velocities $$w~=~\dfrac{u+v}{1+uv/c^2}$$ without Lorentz ...
13
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1answer
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From how high could have Felix Baumgartner jumped without disintegrating like a shooting star?

Today Felix Baumgartner jumped from 39 kilometres high and reached the earth safely. Just considering friction, from how high can a human jump? I expect that from a certain height, he would have ...
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4answers
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Is the velocity with which molecules of the medium oscillate same as velocity of the sound in that medium?

I wanted to know that under sound field applied molecules of the medium oscillate with some velocity in the direction of sound propagation. Is this velocity same as velocity of the sound in that ...
11
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2answers
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How fast would a spaceship have to go to reach Alpha Centauri within a person's lifetime?

Given the recent news about the discovery of an "Earthlike" planet orbiting Alpha Centauri (our nearest stellar neighbour) it got me wondering just how fast would spaceship have to travel to be able ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the terminal velocity for a mobile phone

You may have seen the story of the iPhone which was dropped from perhaps 13,500 feet by a skydiver - it survived. This made me wonder how to work out the terminal velocity for something like that. ...
10
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4answers
180 views

Problems in the relation $a=v\frac{\mathrm{d}v}{\mathrm{d}x}$

We all know $a = \frac{\mathrm{d}v}{\mathrm{d}t}$. A little application of the chain rule leads to the relation $$a=v\frac{\mathrm{d}v}{\mathrm{d}x}$$ But the above equation shows that $a=0$ whenever $...
10
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4answers
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Does velocity or acceleration cause time dilation?

What causes time dilation? Acceleration or velocity? I've seen multiple comments on this forum that assert velocity is the cause, but that doesn't seem right to me. You can't have velocity without ...
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5answers
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How to brake 'beautifully'?

Sometimes when I'm driving my car, I play a "game" against myself in which I try to minimize the deceleration felt by passengers (including myself) while still braking in a reasonable short space. I ...
9
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2answers
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Functional derivative in Lagrangian field theory

The following functional derivative holds: \begin{align} \frac{\delta q(t)}{\delta q(t')} ~=~ \delta(t-t') \end{align} and \begin{align} \frac{\delta \dot{q}(t)}{\delta q(t')} ~=~ \delta'(t-t') \end{...
8
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8answers
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Can you completely explain acceleration to me?

I understand what acceleration is, and I know the formula, and I understand it's a vector. I just don't understand how the equation works exactly. I'm kind of picky, I know, but bear with me. ...
8
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3answers
17k 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
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Explanation that air drag is proportional to speed or square speed?

A falling object with no initial velocity with mass $m$ is influenced by a gravitational force $g$ and the drag (air resistance) which is proportional to the object's speed. By Newton´s laws this can ...
8
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2answers
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If starting speed is faster than terminal velocity then what?

If an object is say thrown down (vertically) at an initial speed that is faster than its terminal velocity, what would happen to that objects speed? Would it slow down?
8
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5answers
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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, ...
8
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2answers
280 views

What is the physical meaning of $|f''(\xi )|\leq\frac{4(f(b)-f(a))}{(b-a)^{2}}$ where $f(t)$ is position as a function of time?

Here is the full problem: I was able to prove the given expression; but the interpretation part is giving me a bit of trouble. Here is my interpretation: The average acceleration in $(a,b)$, is ...
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6answers
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When driving uphill why can't I reach a velocity that I would have been able to maintain if I started with it?

Consider these two situations when driving on a long straight road uphill: Starting at a high velocity $v_h$, which the car is able to maintain. Starting at a lower velocity $v_l$, and then trying ...
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5answers
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High speed does not kill. Does acceleration do it ? or jerk?

In a recent question the OP asked why high speed will not kill us. The accepted answer, highly upvoted, stated very first that Speed doesn't kill us, but acceleration does. The second answer (...
7
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3answers
424 views

Does Super Mario physics work in reality? [duplicate]

This illustration summarizes my question: Please assume no air resistance (unless that makes a large difference). Here's what we concluded, but I could use both confirmation and also help with the ...
7
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6answers
793 views

How low can an electron go?

Title says it all - recently I encountered a strange homework exercise on de Broglie dual theory with an electron wavelength of few millimeters - which implies the velocity lower than 1 m/s. I ...
6
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5answers
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If an object moved 5 meters in a second, how can its velocity be 10 m/s?

I am reading the tutorial on physics classroom.com, and am at Meaning of Slope for a v-t graph. It gives data for an object experiencing an acceleration: This is the corresponding chart for the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do rockets jettison fuel tanks? [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand why rockets have multistages releasing their fuel tanks. Say a rocket $R$ has two fuel tanks $A$ and $B$, which respectively have masses $m_a$ and $m_b$, and the mass of the ...
6
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3answers
887 views

Does an ion thrust engine consume more energy as it speeds up?

This question goes to a very basic non-understanding of mine that I have had in the back of my mind for ages - I just read the following here: ion thrusters are capable of propelling a spacecraft ...
6
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3answers
366 views

Is it faster underwater to go down without air or up with air?

So I had a very interesting conversation between me and my friends about this topic, but we could not find the answer. The Situation Lets say you are in a pool and you want to touch the bottom and ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Is instantaneous velocity an abstraction?

In introductory analysis, the discussion the derivative emphasizes that while average rates of change are measurable, instantaneous rates of change are a "limiting abstraction". While this makes ...
6
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2answers
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Escape Velocity of Asteriod 243 Ida

I was reading about this asteroid (apparently, it has a moon, isn't that awesome?) and I started thinking about if I was on this asteroid, and I jumped, would I fall off? It's been a while since I ...
6
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3answers
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What is the difference between impulse and momentum?

What is the difference between impulse and momentum? The question says it all...I know the second of of them is mass * velocity, but what is the first one for, and when is it used? Also, what are its ...
5
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5answers
790 views

Special Relativity, 2nd Postulate — Why? [duplicate]

As a lowly physics undergrad who has been chewing on this 2nd postulate of special relativity for a year or more, I simply can't wrap my head around reasons why it is true or how Einstein might have ...
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5answers
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Can we escape Earth's gravity slowly?

I had a recent conversation with my girlfriend, who is a physics grad student. She was kind enough to listen to me rant about an idea concerning escape velocity. Unfortunately, I am still thinking ...
5
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5answers
613 views

Why is rapidity additive?

With the rapidity $\phi$ defined so that $\frac{v}{c}=\tanh{\phi}$, say you have 3 parallel moving reference frames $S$, $S'$ and $S''$ with a constant but different velocity/rapidity. If the ...
5
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4answers
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Does a moving object curve space-time as its velocity increases?

We always hear how gravity bends space-time; why shouldn't velocity? Consider a spaceship traveling through space at a reasonable fraction of the speed of light. If this spaceship, according to ...
5
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2answers
830 views

What is the terminal velocity of a sheep?

Inspired by this question on Gaming.SE Using actual in-real-life physics, what would the terminal velocity of a sheep actually be? I would assume it would be around 50m/s, but I might be wrong. ...
5
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2answers
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Zeno’s Paradox of the Arrow

Premises And the Conclusion of the Paradox: (1) When the arrow is in a place just its own size, it’s at rest. (2) At every moment of its flight, the arrow is in a place just its own size. (3) ...
5
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3answers
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Velocity in a turning reference frame

I often see the relation that $\vec v=\vec v_0+ \vec \omega \times \vec r$ in a turning reference frame, but where does it actually come from and how do I arrive at the acceleration being $$\vec a=\...
5
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2answers
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Flow of liquid among branches

If water is flowing through big pipe is branched into 4 branches of small pipe. Lets say the flow is around 4 m/sec. I have the following questions: What will be the flow rate in each of the pipes?...
5
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3answers
135 views

Transverse Wave [closed]

Tranverse Wave is travelling in a string.
5
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2answers
9k 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 ...
5
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4answers
747 views

Why does objects with zero acceleraton move?

My question is, if we apply a force on an object to move it with a constant velocity, of course it will move. But what I don't understand is, why will it move? From Newton's law F=ma and in this case ...
5
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1answer
929 views

Velocity of a viscous fluid through a tube

When a viscous liquid flows through a tube in a laminar flow, why is its velocity highest at the center? I understand the concept of shear viscosity and why the liquid in contact with moving plate ...
5
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2answers
186 views

The velocity of a cloud?

I noticed an unusually fast moving cloud this morning. My questions: What is the average velocity of a cloud on Earth? What is the greatest ever recorded cloud velocity? What factors affect the ...
5
votes
1answer
180 views

Aircraft nose-up glide

In the pilot's introductory book "Stick and Rudder" it claims that a nose-up glide is possible. It doesn't state how, why or when. It implies it's possible to do and maintain a constant forward ...