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Homework Help: How to find the horizontal range of the car rolling off an inclined cliff

  1. Sep 28, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A car is parked near a cliff overlooking the
    ocean on an incline that makes an angle of
    14 with the horizontal. The negligent driver
    leaves the car in neutral, and the emergency
    brakes are defective. The car rolls from rest
    down the incline and has a velocity 5 m/s
    when it reaches the edge of the cliff. The cliff
    is 34.6 m above the ocean. How far is the car from the base of the cliff
    when the car hits the ocean? The acceleration
    of gravity is 9.8 m/s2 .
    Answer in units of m

    2. Relevant equations

    d = (Vi)t + .5at^2


    [d][horizontal] = (Vi * √(2 height)) / [a][gravity]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I would like to be able to plug into the second equation, but I'm not sure if the angle of the cliff would not allow me to do this. I am kind of unsure if these are even the right equations to be using.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Since you haven't defined any of your variables, it is impossibleto say if you are doing this right or not. I do notice that you Vi in both horizontal and vertical equations. If I were to guess that you are talking about "initial speed" surely you don't mean that the vertical and horizontal components of velocity? It the initial speed (strictly speaking, not velocity which is a vector quantity) was 5 m/s what are the horizontal and vertical components of velocity?
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