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Homework Help: A simple question about sound waves im stuck on.

  1. Mar 4, 2013 #1
    A man hammers on a steel railway track. If you hear the sound through the track 5.0 seconds sooner than through the air, how far away is the man?
    *Steel - 5960m/s
    *Air - 346 m/s
    The question is simple but i can't get it

    Also please explain how to do a question like this in the answer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2013 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Welcome to PF, CanMousePlate!
    First, you need to collect the formulas that describe the physics involved.
    You did answer d = vt for motion at constant speed, right?
    You need to write this twice, once for the high speed waves in the steel and once again for the slower speed in air.
    Next, sort out the distances. How are the two d's related? That should eliminate the d's and leave you with only unknown times. The two times are related, put that into your equation so only one unknown left. Solve for that time. Use it in the appropriate one of your d = vt equations to find the distance.
  4. Mar 4, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    You must try to solve the question on your own here before asking for our help. Please check your PMs. You received a reminder of the PF rules that you agreed to when joining here.
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