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10/4/2017 MasteringPhysics: Assignment 1: Motion in 1-D

AManRunningtoCatchaBus

Amanisrunningatspeedc(muchlessthanthespeedoflight)to
catchabusalreadyatastop.Att = 0 ,whenheisadistancebfrom
thedoortothebus,thebusstartsmovingwiththepositive
accelerationa.
Useacoordinatesystemwithx = 0atthedoorofthestoppedbus.

PartA
Whatisxman (t),thepositionofthemanasafunctionoftime?

Answersymbolicallyintermsofthevariablesb,c,andt.

Hint1.Whichequationshouldyouusefortheman'sspeed?
Becausetheman'sspeedisconstant,youmayusex(t) = x(0) + vt .

ANSWER:

xman (t) = b + ct

AnswerRequested

PartB
Whatisxbus (t),thepositionofthebusasafunctionoftime?

Answersymbolicallyintermsofaandt.

Hint1.Whichequationshouldyouuseforthebus'sacceleration?
Becausethebushasconstantacceleration,youmayusex(t) = x(0) + v(0)t + (1/2)at
2
.
Recallthatv bus (0) = 0.

ANSWER:

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10/4/2017 MasteringPhysics: Assignment 1: Motion in 1-D

1 2
xbus = at
2

Correct

PartC
Whatconditionisnecessaryforthemantocatchthebus?Assumehecatchesitattimetcatch .

Hint1.Howtoapproachthisproblem
Ifthemanistocatchthebus,thenatsomemomentintimetcatch ,themanmustarriveatthepositionofthedoorof
thebus.Howwouldyouexpressthisconditionmathematically?

ANSWER:

xman (t catch ) > xbus (t catch )

xman (t catch ) = xbus (t catch )

xman (t catch ) < xbus (t catch )

c = a t catch

Correct

PartD
Insertingtheformulasyoufoundforxman (t)andxbus (t)intotheconditionxman (tcatch ) ,youobtainthe
= xbus (t catch )

following:

1 2
b + ctcatch = at
catch
,or 1 at
2
catch
ctcatch + b = 0.
2 2

Intuitively,themanwillnotcatchthebusunlessheisrunningfastenough.Inmathematicalterms,thereisaconstrainton
theman'sspeedcsothattheequationabovegivesasolutionfortcatch thatisarealpositivenumber.

Findcmin ,theminimumvalueofcforwhichthemanwillcatchthebus.
Expresstheminimumvaluefortheman'sspeedintermsofaandb.

Hint1.Considerthediscriminant
1 2
Usethequadraticequationtosolve: at
catch
ctcatch + b = 0.Whatisthediscriminant(thepartunderthe
2

radical)ofthesolutionfortcatch ?

Hint1.Thequadraticformula
Recall:

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10/4/2017 MasteringPhysics: Assignment 1: Motion in 1-D
If
Ax
2
+ Bx + C = 0
then
2
BB 4AC
x=
2A

ANSWER:

2 1
= c 4 ab
2

Correct

Hint2.Whatistheconstraint?
Togetarealvaluefortcatch ,thediscriminantmustbegreaterthenorequaltozero.Thisconditionyieldsaconstraint
thatcexceedcmin .

ANSWER:


c min = 2ab

AnswerRequested

PartE
Assumethatthemanmissesgettingaboardwhenhefirstmeetsupwiththebus.Doeshegetasecondchanceifhe
continuestorunattheconstantspeedc > cmin ?

Hint1.Whatisthegeneralquadraticequation?

ThegeneralquadraticequationisAx2 + Bx + C = 0,whereA,B,andC areconstants.Dependingonthevalue


ofthediscriminant, = c2 2ab,theequationmayhave

1.tworealvaluedsolutionsif > 0,
2.onerealvaluedsolutionif = 0,or
3.twocomplexvaluedsolutionsif < 0.

Inthiscase,everyrealvaluedsolutioncorrespondstoatimeatwhichthemanisatthesamepositionasthedoorof
thebus.

ANSWER:

Nothereisnochanceheisgoingtogetaboard.

Yeshewillgetasecondchance

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10/4/2017 MasteringPhysics: Assignment 1: Motion in 1-D

Correct

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