You travel from point A to point B in a car moving at a constant speed of . Then you travel the same distance from point B to another point C, moving at a constant speed of . Is your average speed for the entire trip from A to C, equal to ? Explain why or why not.
The average speed for the entire trip from point A to C is less than .
Speed is a scalar quantity, which means it has only magnitude. Average speed is the ratio of the total distance traveled by an object to the total time taken to cover the distance.
Speed at which your car travels from point A to B,
Speed at which your car covers the same distance from point B to C,
Thus, you spend more time traveling at than at , for the same distance.
Let the distance from point A to B (or point B to C) be y.
Then the total distance travelled will be .
The time taken (t) by an object to a certain distance is:
Time elapsed in traveling from A to B,
Similarly, time elapsed in traveling from A to B,
The average speed is:
Therefore, the average speed for the entire trip from A to C is:
Thus, the average speed for the entire journey is less than .
Suppose a car manufacturer tested its cars for front-end collisions by hauling them up on a crane and dropping them from a certain height. (a) Show that the speed just before a car hits the ground, after falling from rest a vertical distance H, is given by . What height corresponds to a collision at (b) 35 km/h (c) 95 km/h.
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