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Questions tagged [velocity]

The time rate of change of the position of an object

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7answers
9k views

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 ...
47
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9answers
30k views

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 ...
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
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3answers
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Is it possible to estimate the speed of a passing vehicle using a musical ear and the doppler effect?

I've found a number of questions that concern the Doppler effect, but none that seem to address my question. I have a background in music. People with a musical ear can generally tell the ratio ...
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1answer
2k views

Can one determine the speed of the rain from the shape of the rainbow?

I was watching the rainbow today and started thinking about the effects of the rain falling in different directions. The idea I had was that normally we model rain drops as small spheres, and this ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Why does a bowling ball roll down faster on a slope than a tennis ball, yet both hits the ground at the same time if they're dropped from the rooftop? [closed]

If a tennis ball and a bowling ball are dropped of a rooftop, they hit the ground at the same time. But if they are rolled down a slope, the bowling ball rolls faster. Why?
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4answers
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With what velocity are we moving along the time dimension?

Does the question make sense? Velocity along time axis means $v_t=\mathrm dt/\mathrm dt$? If it doesn't, please explain where the flaw is. Taking time as measure like length? Or do we need to ...
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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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1answer
2k 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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6answers
5k views

(Almost) double light speed

Let's say we have $2$ particles facing each other and each traveling (almost) at speed of light. Let's say I'm sitting on #$1$ particle so in my point of view #$2$ particle's speed is (almost) $c+c=...
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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 ...
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7answers
4k views

What's the difference between average velocity and instantaneous velocity?

Suppose the distance $x$ varies with time as: $$x = 490t^2.$$ We have to calculate the velocity at $t = 10\ \mathrm s$. My question is that why can't we just put $t = 10$ in the equation $$x = 490t^2$...
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6answers
9k views

Why is the velocity different for different points on a rolling wheel?

Lets take the following example According to above examples it means that velocity at the above portion is max while the velocity at lower portion is min. But I think it should be the same at both ...
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6answers
56k views

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 ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
8k views

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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
3k views

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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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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What would qualify as a deceleration rather than an acceleration if speed is unchanged?

The instantaneous acceleration $\textbf{a}(t)$ of a particle is defined as the rate of change of its instantaneous velocity $\textbf{v}(t)$: $$\textbf{a}(t)=\frac{\mathrm{d}}{\mathrm{d}t}\textbf{v}(t)....
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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{...
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3answers
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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.
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2answers
10k 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?
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2answers
31k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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
241 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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2answers
849 views

Why does cancellation of dots $\frac{\partial \dot{\mathbf{r}}_i}{\partial \dot{q}_j} = \frac{\partial \mathbf{r}_i}{\partial q_j}$ work?

Why is the following equation true? $$\frac{\partial \mathbf{v}_i}{\partial \dot{q}_j} = \frac{\partial \mathbf{r}_i}{\partial q_j}$$ where $\mathbf{v}_i$ is velocity, $\mathbf{r}_i$ is the ...
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2answers
392 views

How do we measure the velocity in curved space-time?

In almost general case, the space-time metrics looks like: \begin{equation} ds^2 = g_{00}(dx^0)^2 + 2g_{0i}dx^0dx^i + g_{ik}dx^idx^k, \end{equation} where $i,k = 1 \ldots 3$ - are spatial indeces. ...
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4answers
3k views

What's the speed of light when viewed from the side?

Suppose a pulse of light is sent from $A$ to $B$ in a rigid triangle $ABC$. While the pulse is moving from $A$ to $B$, what is it's velocity relative to $C$? The special character of the photon among ...
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8answers
11k views

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. ...
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5answers
3k views

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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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, ...
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1answer
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Terminal velocity of two equally shaped/sized objects with different masses?

I've tried doing research on this and there are some similar questions. However, they have slightly different scenarios and to make sure I understand things perfectly, I wanted to word it into my ...
8
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3answers
23k views

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 ...
8
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5answers
421 views

Relativistic transformation of $c^2/v$

Everybody knows the relativistic transformation of a velocity $v$, here in one dimension, $$v'=\frac{v+w}{1+\frac{w}{c^2} v}.$$ But then this implies that $$\frac{c^2}{v'} = \frac{\frac{c^2}{v}+w}{...
8
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2answers
289 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 ...
8
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1answer
81 views

Why do sticky (like rubber) items slide slowly down a ramp?

In the typical case of a smooth object (like a block) sliding down a ramp, once the gravitational force down the ramp exceeds the level of static friction between the ramp and the block, it begins to ...
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6answers
7k views

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 to ...
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5answers
6k views

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 ...
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2answers
2k 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. ...
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3answers
484 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 ...
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6answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
393 views

General relativity: For massless particles, is the momentum and velocity 4-vectors equal?

I am following Carroll. He explain that it is convention to parameterize geodesics of photons by a parameter $\lambda$ such that $$p^\mu = d x^\mu /d \lambda.\tag{3.62}$$ But this is the definition of ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do we equate an indefinite integral to a specific value?

Suppose we want to obtain a displacement vector defined as $\mathbf s(t) = x(t)\mathbf i + y(t)\mathbf j + z(t)\mathbf k$ from the components of a velocity vector $\mathbf v(t) = \dot x(t)\mathbf i + \...
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4answers
44k views

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 ...
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5answers
3k 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 ...