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College Physics (Urone)
Found in: Page 82

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Short Answer

The speed of propagation of the action potential (an electrical signal) in a nerve cell depends (inversely) on the diameter of the axon (nerve fibre). If the nerve cell connecting the spinal cord to your feet is 1.1 m long, and the nerve impulse speed is 18 m/s, how long does it take for the nerve signal to travel this distance?

0.0611 m/s

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Given Data

  • Speed s= 18 m/s
  • Distance d = 1.1m

Step 2:  Time is taken to pass the impulse

Speed is a scalar quantity, whereas velocity is a vector quantity. Both need magnitude, but only velocity needs direction to express it.

Hence we can use the formula to solve the question:


Substituting the values in the above expression, we get:

T=1.1 m18 m/s=0.0611 s

Hence the time taken by the nerve cell is 0.0611 m/s .

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