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Homework Help: Deriving the work-energy theorem

  1. Jun 19, 2005 #1
    In this problem, you will use your prior knowledge to derive one of the most important relationships in mechanics: the work-energy theorem. We will start with a special case: a particle of mass m moving in the x direction at constant acceleration a. During a certain interval of time, the particle accelerates from v_initial to v_final, undergoing displacement s given by s=x_{\rm final}-x_{\rm initial}.

    the problems asks me to find the acceleration :Find the acceleration a of the particle.
    Express the acceleration in terms of v_initial, v_final, and s.
    this is my answer: (v_final-v_initial)^2/s

    but it says that: Your answer is close. One problem with your answer is that it is always positive, but acceleration can also be negative. ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2005 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Look at the units, and remember acceleration is the change in velocity per unit time.
  4. Jun 19, 2005 #3

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Your answer is incorrect. Show how you arrived at it.
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