0
$\begingroup$

Here is my working

Can someone please tell me what I have done wrong here? I can't see what is wrong and have asked many people far smarter than me who also can't spot the error.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For next time, it is convenient to introduce. You could briefly describe your two initial formulas and why you are equating then together, although this time people have been able to infer the problem. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Sep 15 '19 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ Duplicate Free fall - equation - what am I doing wrong? $\endgroup$ – Farcher Sep 15 '19 at 8:03
6
$\begingroup$

You're using $v$ in two different ways. In the first few equations, $v$ means the final velocity after a period of uniform acceleration, assuming one starts from rest. In the equation $v = s/t$, $v$ means the average velocity instead. That's half as much, which is why you're off by $2$.

This is a general warning for learning physics. In other high school courses, if you just take the formulas you're given and mash them together, without worrying what the variables mean, you can get the right answer. In physics, you really have to understand what you're doing. Many formulas will have the letter $v$ in them, but the meaning of that letter will be different, because there can be many different important speeds in most problems.

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.