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Homework Help: Average Acceleration

  1. May 6, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Calculate the average acceleration of a non-uniform cylinder (large can of tomato soup) down an inclined plane.

    2. Relevant equations
    What equation should I use?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think the equation I should use is d=vt+0.5at^2, but I am not sure. If I use that equation, is there anything I have to assume?
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2008 #2
    I don't think you can use that equation. You'd have to know the distance and the initial velocity. Well, really, you could assume the distance to be anything and velocity to be 0 at start, but you'd have to know how long it took you to travel that distance.

    So no, it won't work.

    Is that honestly the entire question? If it is, then I can help a bit. What is the normal acceleration of just dropping something? Now, when you put it on an incline, it slows down, right? As in, it will still go down, but not as fast.

    And if you put it on a flat surface, it won't fall at all. Okay, so at 90º it's full acceleration, and at 0º it's 0. Do you know of any function that works like that?
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