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Finding magnitude and distance of a particles acceleration

  1. Aug 29, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The figure depicts the motion of a particle moving along an x axis with a constant acceleration. The figure's vertical scaling is set by xs = 7.20 m. What are the (a) magnitude and (b) direction of the particle's acceleration ( +x or -x )?

    upload_2015-8-29_15-16-29.png

    2. Relevant equations
    upload_2015-8-29_15-16-55.png

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm going to be honest, first week into class and I'm struggling pretty hard. I'm not really sure where to begin with this equation to be honest.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2015 #2

    BvU

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    Hello Drub, welcome to PF :smile: !

    All beginnings are difficult (old duch saying). But perhaps PF can help you to get going !

    If we start with the end of your post, as well as with the (b) part of the exercise: what do you think: is the particle being accelerated in the +x or in the -x direction ?
     
  4. Aug 29, 2015 #3
    Thank you for your response :)! I believe it starts accelerating negatively, but then when it crosses the x axis it starts accelerating positively. am I on the right track here?
     
  5. Aug 29, 2015 #4

    BvU

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    Actually, we might go one step back. Is it moving in the positive x-direction when it's moving from ##-1x_S## to ##0## from time 1 to 1 sec ?
     
  6. Aug 29, 2015 #5
    I believe it is moving in the positive direction in that scenario :O?
     
  7. Aug 29, 2015 #6

    BvU

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    Yes. And is its speed increasing or decreasing ?
     
  8. Aug 29, 2015 #7
    Increasing :eek:?

    EDIT: i worked with a friend on it and found out that I had to use the formula Deltax = Vi*T + .5(at^2) to solve for a. after i found that a= 2(xfinal - xinital)/t^2. I then plugged in values for 1-2, and got 4.8 m/2^2.

    I didn't plug in 0 seeing as 0 would have just gotten me an acceleration of 0 since the particle was not moving.

    Thanks for the reply, I'll be sure to be posting on here again as this is quite the challenge so far! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  9. Aug 29, 2015 #8

    BvU

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    Increasing is good.
    And working together is a good way to learn for both ! Good luck !
     
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