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Homework Help: Just getting into friction kinetic and static

  1. Oct 22, 2008 #1
    The floor of a railroad flatcar is loaded with loose crates having a coefficient of static friction of 0.30 with the floor. If the train is initially moving at a speed of 43 km/h, in how short a distance can the train be stopped at constant acceleration without causing the crates to slide over the floor?

    I use weird variables i've noticed browsing these forums but here we go
    fg = friction with ground
    N=normal force

    ok so from my free body diagram i got Force of x and y is:
    x---- Fs = ma
    y----N - mg = ma (which a is 0 since there is not vertical acceleration)

    working it down I got N = mg, and using Fg=UN and combining the equations i get


    divide by m on each side and plug in what i know i get

    a=.3 * 9.81
    a= 2.943

    Then using my constant acceleration equations i have Vf^2 - Vo^2=2ad

    (0)^2 - (43)^2 = 2(2.943)d

    This is the wrong answer apparently though according to the website and I can't for the life of me see what i did wrong. Any help is appreciated thanks! My midterms tomorrow so wish me luck too heh
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2008 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Hi blakester,

    I think here is the error. Your acceleration is in m/s2, but your speed is in km/hour. You need to do a unit conversion for the initial speed.
  4. Oct 23, 2008 #3
    Oh man such a simple mistake haha! Thanks alot, I'll be sure to double check my units on my midterm in a few hours
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