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Integrating non-constant acceleration to give time

  1. Oct 17, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Not specifically a homework assignment, but for a personal project - but it's almost entirely parallel with my Physics course at the moment, and is mostly a homework-style question!

    I have an object acclerating due to a force, experiencing friction. Both the accelerating and friction forces depend on velocity.

    I would expect the result for v to tend to a certain value as time increases, similar to terminal velocity.

    I know this should involve integrating acceleration with respect to time - but the combination of questionable integration confidence and a cold mean I just can't fathom the next step.

    2. Relevant equations
    Accelerating force = [tex]k/v[/tex] (decreases as v increases)
    Friction force = [tex]a + bv + cv^{2}[/tex] (increases as v increases)
    Total force = [tex]k/v - (a + bv + cv^{2})[/tex]
    Acceleration = [tex]\sum F/m[/tex]
    Velocity = [tex]\int a = \int (k/v - (a + bv + cv^2))/m[/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution
    My attempts at integration end with a 3rd degree polynomial:
    [tex](k\;ln(v) - (av + bv^2/2 + cv^3/3))/m[/tex]
    Whereas I expect t in the equation, and this does not lead to a limit (for sufficiently large values it gives negative speed).
  2. jcsd
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