1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Constant Acceleration

  1. Sep 7, 2015 #1
    • Members are reminded to use the provided Formatting Template for homework posts!
    In a car moving at constant acceleration, you travel 250 m between the instants at which the speedometer reads 40 km/h and 80 km/h.
    How many seconds does it take you to travel the 250 m?
    What is your acceleration?

    I have thought of finding the average of 40 km/h and 80 km/h to start the problem but I'm unsure about that.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2015 #2
    You should use the homework template, to begin with.

    There are some basic equations that describe objects under constant acceleration. Have you tried applying them to this situation?
  4. Sep 7, 2015 #3
  5. Sep 7, 2015 #4
    I think the one I found does not apply to this situation. The correct equation may be a = v/t.
  6. Sep 7, 2015 #5
    You don't know neither the acceleration nor the time interval,so you are going to need one more equation,
  7. Sep 7, 2015 #6
    I have not received any other equation in class and therefore I give it a try by looking up equations around the internet. I just wonder if I'm supposed to find the average speed before I start to do anything else.
  8. Sep 7, 2015 #7
    Is this a high school class? There should be a textbook or some sort of reference material you have for the course.

    The link you posted previously are all special cases of the formulas I was referring to, specifically arranged and simplified for 'free-fall' constant acceleration. The problem is that your object is not under constant 'free-fall' acceleration.
  9. Sep 7, 2015 #8
    I think I might put in it in the wrong section. It is a problem from calculus-based physics on MasteringPhysics and I don't receive any further information beside it.
  10. Sep 7, 2015 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    This is the correct section. You don't need to resort to using calculus on such a problem.

    No, you don't need to find the average velocity, that won't help.

    There is a sticky thread in the forum you posted in with introductory physics formulae:

    You have an initial velocity(v0 ), a final velocity (v) and a displacement (Δx), you want to find the acceleration (a).
    Try find the equation that has those.
  11. Sep 7, 2015 #10
    Do you have access to an e-text through your MasteringPhysics? You need to know the equations of 1-D kinematics to help you solve this problem. I highly doubt that many students will get very far through a calculus based physics course without having some kind of standard reference material to help them, especially if your teacher/professor is not actually providing you with these equations in class in a straightforward way.
  12. Sep 7, 2015 #11
    I found the equations from this link: http://neutrino.otterbein.edu/~tagg/Courses/Current/Phys1500/equation_sheet.pdf [Broken]
    Should I find delta v to apply it to the equation that has t?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  13. Sep 7, 2015 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Sorry, I was wrong here. Finding Vaverage will work to find t, the rest of post 9 will help you find a.

    Which one? 4 out of 5 of those equations have t in them...

    It's best you make some attempt and we can check it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  14. Sep 7, 2015 #13
    Should I consider of delta v instead of average v?
  15. Sep 7, 2015 #14
    I see this equation may be helpful: xf = xi + v * delta t.

    According to the equation I got approximately 22.50 s after finding delta v and converting all the units.
  16. Sep 7, 2015 #15


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    That is not correct.

    Show you're working (with units) and we'll see where you went wrong.
  17. Sep 7, 2015 #16
    1) delta v = 40 km/h = 11.11 m/s
    2) 250 m = 0 m + 11.11 m/s * delta t
    3) delta t = 250 m / 11.11 m/s
    4) delta t = 22.50 s
  18. Sep 7, 2015 #17
    You take velocity to be constant and equal to 40 km/h.The problem states there is acceleration and the velocity goes up to 80 km/h.
    Edit:Sorry,you obviously don't.It's late and my eyes betrayed me.
  19. Sep 7, 2015 #18
    But it also states constant acceleration at the beginning of the problem. I'm very confused!
  20. Sep 7, 2015 #19


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes, the car accelerates at a constant rate from 40 to 80 km/hr.

    22.5 seconds is the time it take to travel 250 metres travelling at 40 km/hr - Not what you are looking for.

    What is the average velocity of the car?
    How long does it take to travel 250 metres at that average velocity?
  21. Sep 7, 2015 #20
    Yes,the problem is you have calculated the average velocity the wrong way.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted