The time rate of change of the position of an object

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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 ...
29
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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 ...
28
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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 ...
20
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1answer
686 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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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 ...
15
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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? ...
15
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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 ...
14
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3answers
457 views

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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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 ...
12
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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 ...
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 ...
11
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2answers
873 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
votes
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 ...
8
votes
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
votes
2answers
8k views

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
votes
5answers
969 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, ...
8
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2answers
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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 ...
8
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2answers
272 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 ...
7
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3answers
388 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 ...
6
votes
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
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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
votes
4answers
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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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

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?
6
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3answers
307 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
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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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6answers
698 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
552 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 ...
5
votes
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
votes
2answers
947 views

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
votes
4answers
368 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
5
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1answer
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Connecting 4-velocity to equation for adding velocities

Is there a way to connect 4-velocity to equations for adding speeds? I know 4-velocity $U^\mu$ is derived like this: \begin{equation} \begin{split} P^\mu &= m U^\mu \Longrightarrow U^\mu = ...
5
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3answers
337 views

Physical intuition for independence of components of velocity in derivation of Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution

Maxwell derived the shape of the probability distribution of velocity of gas particles by starting with just two assumptions. These are: The probability distribution is rotation invariant. The ...
4
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8answers
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Can velocity be an undefined quantity?

We have the image below displaying the uniform velocity by time-distance graph. At every point velocity is constant but what if distance and time both become zero as at origin in the graph is? The ...
4
votes
3answers
507 views

Why is the scalar product of four-velocity with itself -1?

My GR book Hartle says the scalar product of four-velocity with itself $-1$? Consider the definition of four velocity $\mathbf{u} = \frac{dx^{\alpha}}{d\tau}$. Suppose I take the scalar product of ...
4
votes
4answers
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How can there be really any instantaneous velocity?

I have read about Zeno's arrow paradox that tells us there is no motion of the arrow at a particular instant of its flight. It can be inferred that there can be no velocity at any instant. Moreover we ...
4
votes
3answers
935 views

Chasing a photon [duplicate]

According to this article, the Theory of Special Relativity holds that if you were chasing a stream of light at half the speed of light, $c/2$, the light's speed relative to you would still be $c$. ...
4
votes
4answers
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Terminal velocity of all falling objects is same?

Ideally 2 objects of different mass and weight will hit the floor at same time because they face same gravitational pull and accelerate. Will the terminal velocity of both objects be same also? and ...
4
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2answers
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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.
4
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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 ...
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5answers
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I know light's speed in vacuum is constant, but what about its velocity?

Is the velocity of light in vacuum constant? It seems it would be different depending on whether it is coming toward you or away from you, but I just want to make sure. Does the direction of light ...
4
votes
2answers
529 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
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What is the physical meaning of diffusion coefficient?

In Fick's first law, the diffusion coefficient is velocity, but I do not understand the two-dimensional concept of this velocity. Imagine that solutes are diffusing from one side of a tube to another ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

What's the physical difference between the quantities $\langle v_{i}v_{j}\rangle$ and $\langle v_{i}\rangle\langle v_{j}\rangle$?

What's the physical difference between the quantities $\left\langle v_{i}v_{j}\right\rangle $ and $\left\langle v_{i}\right\rangle \left\langle v_{j}\right\rangle $? Where $\left\langle ...
4
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5answers
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Physics behind Wheel Slipping

Lets say that I'm in a car and I apply full acceleration suddenly. Now, the wheels would slip and hence the car doesn't displace much. But If I start with some constant acceleration, slipping doesn't ...
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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 ...
4
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2answers
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What does this observation of instantaneous velocity in Brownian particles mean?

I read this artice: Physicists Prove Einstein Wrong with Observation of Instantaneous Velocity in Brownian Particles “We’ve now observed the instantaneous velocity of a Brownian particle,” says ...