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Flipping a coin

  1. Feb 12, 2012 #1
    Recently I began to think somehin which has led to a lot more questions.

    If traveling on a straight line and I were to flip a coin a stock standard right handed triangle would be made, due to the coin going up and down.

    What would the vector diagram look like if the vehicle was to be turning? Is it a matter of drawing it on the x,y and z planes ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2012 #2


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    It would not form a triangle, it would form a parabola.
  4. Feb 12, 2012 #3
    Yes!!! I was right!! That's what I suspected.
  5. Feb 12, 2012 #4


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    I haven't even addressed your question yet (sentence 3). I was simply correcting your premise (sentence 2).
  6. Feb 12, 2012 #5
    Sorry I jumped te gun a bit too quick. It would create a parabola as it goes up and finally falls down. It would though create a triangle between it's initial position, terminal height. Or am I wrong ?
  7. Feb 13, 2012 #6
    Well you could say that a parabola drawn at very low resolution will look like a triangle. Certainly if you take just the initial point, the highest point and the final point, they will form a triangle, but then so will any three points if they're not all on the same line!
  8. Feb 14, 2012 #7
    Definitely. It will always form a triangle. However, if you are considering the trajectory, I the first is definitely a parabola and the second will probably look like some sort of parametric curve. At least I believe so.
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