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47

The question is especially relevant from a didactical point of view because one has to learn to distingish between energy (work) and momentum (quantity of motion). The kinematic property that is proportional to $v$ is nowadays called momentum, it is the "quantity of motion" residing in a moving object, it's definition is $p:= mv$. The change of momentum ...


45

The speed of sound in an ideal gas is given by $$a = \sqrt{\gamma R T}$$ Where $\gamma = \frac{C_p}{C_v}$, $R$ is the specific ideal gas constant and $T$ is the absolute temperature. Taking standard values for air, this makes a graph like this: The linear approximation is plotted by your formula, $a = 331\ \frac{m}{s}\ +\ 0.6 \frac{m}{sK} (T - 273\ ...


30

At the ambient temperature and pressure (assuming atmospheric pressure), the sound speed is pretty close to $340\ \frac{\text{m}}{\text{s}}$, and it seems (from internet research) that the first contender is about $16\ \text{m}$ further away from the guy firing the gun, which comes down to a delay of about $.05\ \text{s}$ in hearing the sound if the sound is ...


27

Is it fair to judge this speedskating race by only 3 thousands of a second? Yes, it's "fair". Not only is it according to the current rules of the event**, but also: There are at least three asymmetries that have far larger impact and are all considered "fair". They happen to start in different lanes (and must cross-over thereafter). That means they ...


22

The reason is because the time taken for the two trips are different, so the average speed is not simply $\frac{v_1 + v_2}{2}$ We should go back to the definition. The average speed is always (total length) ÷ (total time). In your case, the total time can be calculated as \begin{align} \text{time}_1 &= \frac{120 \mathrm{miles}}{40 \mathrm{mph}} ...


22

The best way to solve it would be experimentally, by doing the run several times, with calibrated instrumentation by the roadside to measure your speed. The acceleration won't have been constant, so that's not an assumption we can use. Knowing the 0-60 time capability won't really help; it could be different when accelerating up hill, compared to on the ...


19

By special relativity, the energy needed to accelerate a particle (with mass) grow super-quadratically when the speed is close to c, and is ∞ when it is c. $$ E = \gamma mc^2 = \frac{mc^2}{\sqrt{1 - (\text{“percent of speed of light”})^2}} $$ Since you can't supply infinite energy to the particle, it is not possible to get to 100% c. Edit: ...


18

Ah, this gives me a chance to give a proper home to an analysis I first posted on Reddit. (I would much rather have first posted it here :-P) Mathematical derivation It all starts with a blog post I've written that comes very close to addressing the exact question you're asking. In the post, I calculated how fast an object would be moving after falling a ...


16

This scientific problem – well, a more general one – has been solved in the following paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.0162 Because it's legal in my country to move backwards in time, I remember the future event – one minute from now – in which Andrew Gibson will mention that he has this paper hanging in his physics lounge. He will curse me. 11 minutes ...


11

Let me just throw in an intuitive explanation. You could re-phrase your question as: Why does velocity only increase as the square root of kinetic energy, not linearly? Well, drop a ball from a height of 1 meter, and it has velocity v when it hits the ground. Now, drop it from a height of 2 meters. Will it have a velocity of 2v when it hits the ...


11

What you want to do is keep the angle between your direction of motion and the line of sight to police car the same as the angle between the truck's direction of motion and the truck's line of sight to the police car. In other words, we want to keep $a1=a2$ in the picture above. This is a problem in similar triangles. The answer will be that the ratio of ...


11

The Red Bull Stratos project involving the 43-year-old Austrian man Felix Baumgartner is to break the sound barrier. Within the first 15,000 feet of his jump he was traveling well over the cruising speed of a commercial jetliner, reaching some 625 mph. The maximum velocity reached by Felix is about some 380 km/s. How did he do that? During a free-fall, ...


10

Velocity does indeed have to be measured relative to something. We can measure our radial velocity relative to any other astronomical object we care to, by measuring Doppler shifts. But if you want to know our velocity "relative to the Universe as a whole" rather than relative to any one object, we have to be a bit careful to define our terms. Because the ...


9

Unsurprisingly this has been the subject of several scientific papers. In particular Google for papers by J. W. Glasheen and T. A. McMahon. They studied the basilisk lizard, but their results can be extrapolated to humans. It's debatable how reliable such a large extrapolation is, but the result is that the required speed is so far beyond human ability that ...


9

I'm going to dare to give a very brief answer that's likely not what most folks would expect, but is deeply rooted in experiment: The speed of time is just the speed of a clock -- that is, of how fast some kind of a repeated cycle can be done. Clocks thus only have meaning relative to each other. You can set one as a standard, then measure other by it, but ...


9

I used a 8 million fps camera 25years ago - and the technology was old even then. I think purely electronic cameras can beat this by a factor of 10x today. Those cameras used a rotating hexagonal mirror and an arc of film, each frame behind an individual lens. As the mirror rotated it reflected the incoming rays onto each lens, and so each frame of film in ...


8

The only real physical reason (which is not really a fully satisfying answer) is that $E \sim v^2$ is what experiments tell us. For example, gravitational potential energy on the Earth's surface is proportional to height, and if you drop an object, you can measure that the height it falls is proportional to the square of its speed. Thus, if energy is to be ...


8

As Piotr suggested, accepting the definition of work $W=\mathbf{F}\cdot d\mathbf{x}$, it follows that the kinetic energy increases quadratically. Why? Because the force and the infinitesimal interval depend linearly on the velocity. Therefore, it is natural to think that if you multiply both quantities, you need to end up with something like $K v^{2}$, where ...


8

These days planes measure their speed (and position) using GPS. In the old days (my father used to fly Tiger Moth's!) they would measure air speed for a rough guide, but correct their speed by spotting landmarks on the ground. In poor visibility it was not uncommon for pilots to get lost, sometimes resulting in tragedy when they flew into mountains or ...


8

It's a bit misleading to simply say the speed of sound is proportional to $\sqrt{T}$ because life is a bit more complicated than that. You've probably seen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_sound and this does indeed say in the introduction that the speed of sound is a function of the square root of the absolute temperature. However if you read on you'll ...


8

You've seen the speed of light quoted as roughly $3*10^8\, \text{m/s}$, so the speed of light is very fast compared to one meter and one second. This is roughly a human walking speed, so your question could be interpreted as asking why light is few hundred million times faster than a walking speed. The speed people walk is rather anthropocentric, though. ...


7

The Earth is moving by 30 km/s around the Sun and relatively to the Sun. The Sun is orbiting the center of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, by the speed of about 200-250 km/s. Our Galaxy is moving relatively to the Local Group where it orbits and the Local Group falls toward the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. However, the latter two velocities are small relatively to ...


7

SPEED OF LIGHT: This is a very interesting question. Going through the foundations of electromagnetism and the theory that led to Maxwell’s equations, there is an interesting element that can grab your attention. You can see that the speed of light is not as abstract and mysterious as it appears to be, but only if you look from a different perspective. I ...


6

You have to understand special relativity. It's basically because newtonian mechanics breaks down at speeds close to the speed of light and F=ma is false. It's basically because your mass isn't constant, it varies based on your speed. And as you approach c, your mass has to approach infinity and thus you'll need infinite force to move accelerate from c - ...


6

Well, definitely yes, i think. Depending on properties of the cable as well as the Relative permittivity(also measured as dielectric constant) of the material surrounding the copper is a factor. EDIT: The velocity factor also called wave propagation speed or velocity of propagation (VoP or vP), of a transmission medium is the speed at which a wavefront (of ...



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