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From an inertial refernce point, how to tell if a particle is free?

  1. Dec 7, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    From an inertial reference frame S, the vector position of a particle of mass
    m1 = 1kg is given by r1(t)=(tx-hat - t^2y-hat)m.
    The vector position of a particle m2=2m1 is given by r2=(t)=(tx-hat +t^3y-hat)m

    Is particle #1 free along the y-direction? Explain

    2. Relevant equations
    If the particle is free along the y-direction then the y's would equal to 0.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    r1= -t^2y
    =not free?
    (I am actually unsure if my definition of free is true)
  2. jcsd
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