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: Help with total distance problem

  1. Sep 12, 2004 #1
    I was given the following chart, http://www.webassign.net/pse/p2-14.gif, it asked to find the speed at 10s, and 20s, I got 20m/s and 5m/s respectively. The last part asks to find the total distance traveled in the first 20 seconds. Now I did x final = x initial + 1/2(Vxi + Vxf)t and got 250 m, I wanted to know if this looks right, since I have only one more chance to answer the question.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2004 #2

    Pyrrhus

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Look! the acceleration is constant from 0 s to 10 s, 10 s to 15 s, and 15 s to 20 s. Just calculate the distance per piece and add it up for total.
     
  4. Sep 12, 2004 #3
    I tried that, I did 20 m/s * 10, plus 20 m/s * 5, because the acceleration is zero for those 5 seconds, plus 5 m/s * 5, which came out to total of 325, but it turned out to be wrong. I also tried replacing 5 m/s *5 with -15 m/s * 5 (velocity for that segment alone), and that also turned out to be wrong.
     
  5. Sep 12, 2004 #4

    Pyrrhus

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Well for the first part:

    [tex] V = 2t [/tex]

    [tex] V = 20 m/s [/tex]

    [tex] x = \frac{1}{2}2t^2 [/tex]

    [tex] x = 100 m [/tex]

    for the second part:

    [tex] x = v_{o}t [/tex]

    [tex] x = 100 m [/tex]

    for the third part:

    [tex] x = 20t - \frac{1}{2}3t^2 [/tex]

    [tex] x = 100 - 37.5 = 62.5 m [/tex]

    Adding:

    [tex] x_{total} = (100 +100 + 62.5) m = 262.5 m[/tex]
     
  6. Sep 12, 2004 #5
    Wait, I thought x final = Xi + Vxi*t + 1/2*a*t^2
     
  7. Sep 12, 2004 #6

    Pyrrhus

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    It is i just simplified.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook