Constant acceleration muon problem

In summary: Solving equations like that is a fundamental algebraic skill that you should have down pat. If you're struggling with it, that will make kinematics even more challenging.
  • #1
vysero
134
0
A muon enters a region with a speed of 5.00 x 10^6 m/s and then is slowed at a rate of 1.25 x 10^14 m/s^2. A) How far does the muon take to stop?

After some research on the internet I have found an answer to the problem but that does not help me enough. Here is what I have found:

Im suppose to use this equation: V^2 = Vo^2 + 2a(X-Xo)

As I am sure you can see however I don't know what these symbols in this equation mean. In my book it has the second Vo^2 part with the 2 directly over the o which says to me that it's not saying the square of o. So that confuses me. Secondly here is the answer I found:

x = -1/2(Vo^2/a) = -1/2((5.00 x 10^6)^(2)/(-1.25 x 10^14))

This just confuses me further because they didn't show the algebra steps which I kind of need in order to understand how they got the solution. If someone could please help explain this equation to me and show me the steps in the algebra that would be amazing. I mean knowing the answer isn't going to help me on the test.
 
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  • #2
First of all, how long would it take for a particle going initially with speed v to stop under constant deceleration a? Express t in terms of a and v.

Then, when you know a, v and t, what is the distance the particle covers?
 
  • #3
vysero said:
Im suppose to use this equation: V^2 = Vo^2 + 2a(X-Xo)

As I am sure you can see however I don't know what these symbols in this equation mean. In my book it has the second Vo^2 part with the 2 directly over the o which says to me that it's not saying the square of o. So that confuses me.
The '0' is just a subscript that stands for the initial speed or position at the start of the motion (t = 0).

So V0 is the same as Vi. And V is the final speed at the end of the motion.

Another way to write that standard kinematic formula is:
[tex]V_f^2 = V_i^2 + 2a\Delta x[/tex]

Since the final speed is 0 ([itex]V_f = 0[/itex]), how might you rewrite the equation and solve for Δx?
 
  • #4
FYI, that equation is one of a small set of kinematic equations that you would be wise to become very familiar with. Here's a list: Basic Equations of 1-D Kinematics
 
  • #5
Well if I set the final velocity to 0 then divide by the change in x i would get:

Change in x = velocity initial^2 + 2a

but if i plug in the values in at this point i get 2.75x10^14
 
Last edited:
  • #6
vysero said:
Well if I set the final velocity to 0 then divide by the change in x i would get:

Change in x = velocity initial^2 + 2a
No you wouldn't. You'd start with:
[tex]0 = V_i^2 + 2a\Delta x[/tex]
And then:
[tex]- V_i^2 = 2a\Delta x[/tex]
You do the rest.
 
  • #7
Oh I get it sorry messed up so now I end up with -Vo^2/2a or -1/2(Vo^2/a) right?

So I think my biggest problem with these types of equations is just going to be figuring out what variables I have and which ones I do not have, any tips?
 
  • #8
vysero said:
Oh I get it sorry messed up so now I end up with -Vo^2/2a or -1/2(Vo^2/a) right?
Right. And remember that since your acceleration is negative (it's slowing down) your answer for Δx will be positive.
So I think my biggest problem with these types of equations is just going to be figuring out what variables I have and which ones I do not have, any tips?
One thing I can recommend is to do as many practice problems as possible. That way you will get intimately familiar with the kinematics equations and how they are used.

And it would probably be wise to review your algebra as well.
 

1. What is the "Constant acceleration muon problem"?

The "Constant acceleration muon problem" refers to a thought experiment in which muons, a type of subatomic particle, are accelerated to near the speed of light and then observed from a stationary frame of reference. This problem demonstrates the effects of time dilation and length contraction predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity.

2. How does constant acceleration affect the behavior of muons?

Constant acceleration causes muons to travel at speeds close to the speed of light, resulting in time dilation and length contraction. This means that from the perspective of a stationary observer, time appears to pass slower for the muons and their length appears to contract in the direction of motion.

3. Why is the constant acceleration muon problem important?

The constant acceleration muon problem is important because it demonstrates the validity of Einstein's theory of relativity. It also has practical applications, such as in particle accelerators, where muons are used to study the behavior of subatomic particles at high speeds.

4. Can the constant acceleration muon problem be observed in real life?

Yes, the effects of time dilation and length contraction can be observed in real life, such as in experiments with high-speed particles or in the behavior of GPS satellites. However, the constant acceleration muon problem is a thought experiment and cannot be observed exactly as described.

5. Are there any unresolved questions or problems with the constant acceleration muon problem?

While the constant acceleration muon problem is a well-established concept in physics, there are still ongoing debates and research about the exact mechanisms behind time dilation and length contraction. Additionally, there are limitations to the thought experiment, such as the assumption of constant acceleration, that may not reflect real-world scenarios accurately.

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