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Homework Help: Kinematics and proportionality.

  1. May 31, 2008 #1
    Hey, please take a look at this problem, it should be quite straight-forward but I want to know if I've reached the right conclusion.

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A particle moves in a straight line with displacement s from some fixed point on the line and velocity v.

    If v is proportional to sqrt(s), find the behaviour of the acceleration with s; and if v=0 when t=0, find how v depends on time.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I put v = k*sqrt(s) and used a = v*dv/ds = k*sqrt(s)*(1/2)k*s^(-1/2) = (1/2)k^2. So it seems that the s disappears, and therefore the acceleration is constant. Is it correct to say this?

    For the second part, I put dv/dt=(1/2)k^2 (the acceleration found above) and solved to give v(t) = (1/2)(k^2)t + c, and c=0 because v=0 when t=0. Hence my conclusion is that v varies with t, i.e. v and t are proportional. Is this right? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2008 #2
    If you let v=k[tex] \sqrt{s}[/tex], then the derivative with respect to s should be
    [tex]= \frac{k}{2 \sqrt{s}}[/tex]
    Last edited: May 31, 2008
  4. May 31, 2008 #3
    But in the part of my post that you quoted, I'm not using s at all. I'm just taking the acceleration that I found in the 1st part, (1/2)k^2, and calling it dv/dt, and then solving that to give v in terms of t. Is it not right to say v and t are proportional?
  5. May 31, 2008 #4

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Looks good to me.
    Again, looks good.
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