(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

A mouse is resting in a grass field. At t=0 s, the mouse spots a cat that is 10.0m away and is racing towards him a at a constant speed of 5.0 m/s. After taking 0.5 s to react, the mouse starts accelerating from rest at 1.5 m/s^2 away from the cat. How far away from the cat's initial position is it when the cat and mouse first meet?

2. Relevant equations

x = vt + (1/2)at^2

3. The attempt at a solution

Okay so we start off by saying for the cat:

x = vt, because acceleration is zero

then for the mouse:

x - 10 = (1/2)a(t + 0.5)^2 because the mouse has initial velocity of zero

then, we combine these two to get:

(v cat)t - 10 = (1/2)a(t + 0.5)^2

(v cat)t - 10 = (1/2)at^2 + (1/2)at + (1/8)a <<< after expanding

0 = .75t^2 - 4.25t + 10.1875

using a quadratic solver, t does not exist (that is, it is not a real number).

Where did I go wrong? When I had this marked (above), I actually accidentally used 0 = .75t^2 - 4.25t - 10.1875 (note the MINUS sign before the 10.1875 instead of a plus from above), and i got time = 7.5 seconds. I used this time to figure out the distance, and I got 37 meters, and i got 9/10 for my solution.

After looking back i realized there is no solution, because my algebra was wrong.

What happened?

Thanks sooo much for your help in advance!

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# Homework Help: Cat and mouse question

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