1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Multiple choice question about constant velocity

  1. Jan 21, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Which of the following is NOT true about an object having constant velocity?
    Select one:
    a. It has constant speed
    b. It is moving in a steady/fixed direction
    c. It has constant acceleration
    d. It might be at rest
    e. It might have a fixed position


    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution just need a little verification i say the answer is 'a' since velocity is a vector and is dependent on direction/displacement not speed any help will be appreciated
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2014 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Velocity is speed and direction. If speed is zero, the direction doesn't matter. If acceleration and speed are both zero, I don't see which answer is better than the others... Is that really the whole problem statement?
     
  4. Jan 21, 2014 #3
    yes sir that is infact the entire question
     
  5. Jan 21, 2014 #4

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I've asked for other Homework Helpers to check this, and so far the opinion is that the question is incorrect. Can you please check this with your instructor?
     
  6. Jan 22, 2014 #5

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi Tiven white! Welcome to PF! :smile:
    I'd go with b …

    if its velocity is zero, then its velocity is constant, but it's not moving. :wink:
     
  7. Jan 22, 2014 #6

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Given the target audience, I'd go with e, where (e) means one or more of none of the above, not enough information, or this is a stupid question.

    Options a, d, and e are easily eliminated. (Tiven white: Why did you think option a is the right answer? Constant velocity necessarily implies constant speed.)

    That leaves options b and c as the only possible solutions. Choosing between them? A constant velocity necessarily implies zero acceleration, and zero is obviously constant. On the other hand, an object with a constant velocity of zero is steadily moving nowhere.
     
  8. Jan 22, 2014 #7

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    "moving nowhere" … in ordinary english, that's not moving! :wink:

    (or does it mean infinitely fast? :confused: … it reminds me of those drivers who say "the car that i hit came from nowhere!" :smile:)
     
  9. Jan 22, 2014 #8

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    And in ordinary English, constant velocity means not accelerating, which in ordinary English is not constant acceleration.

    Interpreting ordinary English into mathematics is always suspect. This is a bad question.
     
  10. Jan 22, 2014 #9
    The question is asking about what is NOT true about an object with a constant velocity.

    If its got a constant velocity, it is neither changing speed or direction.

    Thus, it has a constant speed (A).
    If it is neither changing speed or direction, it must be moving in a steady or fixed direction (B).
    The object may even be a stationary object, meaning it might be at rest (D).
    This would imply a fixed position (E).

    Therefore this object would NOT ever have a constant acceleration. So the answer (at least in my mind) is C, an object with a constant velocity would NOT have a constant acceleration.
     
  11. Jan 22, 2014 #10

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    It's acceleration is zero. Is zero not a constant?
     
  12. Jan 22, 2014 #11
    In terms of this question, I don't believe it was concerned about zero values. But yes, a constant acceleration of zero would exist. It is a poorly stated question, but I do feel that it implied a constant acceleration as acceleration that would actively alter the velocity of the object.
     
  13. Jan 22, 2014 #12

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    If the object is at rest, can we say "it is moving in a fixed direction"?
     
  14. Jan 22, 2014 #13

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    We can say it's steadily moving nowhere.

    Both (b) and (c) can be viewed as being true statements (and hence neither is the answer) or as false statements (and hence one or both is the answer). It's all in how one interprets those words. The problem certainly did open itself to zero velocity via options (d) and (e).

    The right answer is that this is a bad question. It's an ambiguous word problem.
     
  15. Jan 22, 2014 #14

    adjacent

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You all are all arguing here and where's the OP?In which grade are you studying?Tiven white.
     
  16. Jan 22, 2014 #15

    adjacent

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If you are taking a zero as a constant,then the OP will get confused.First we need his educational level,this is not a PhD problem(lol) to talk about all the possibilities.
     
  17. Jan 22, 2014 #16
    Its a question from an undergraduate coarse engineering statics
     
  18. Jan 22, 2014 #17

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    in engineering terms, if something is moving, then it's not stationary

    if two surfaces are in relative motion, they don't have the same motion

    if you regard everything as moving, then "moving" conveys no information

    and "moving" is not a physics or maths term (like "velocity") … in physics or maths, it can usually be omitted from any sentence it's in if it means "having a velocity"
     
  19. Jan 22, 2014 #18

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    By the same token, if it's accelerating, then it's not moving at a constant velocity.

    I know I've said it before, but once again, this is a lousy question.
     
  20. Jan 22, 2014 #19

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    but …

    i] it doesn't say "it's accelerating" (which would be the equivalent of "it's moving"), it says …
    ii] "acceleration" is a maths or physics term of art (like "velocity"): it includes deceleration and zero acceleration: and it is quantifiable;
    "it is moving" isn't: it means nothing (unless it means it's not at rest!), and one thing can't be more moving than another

    EDIT: do engineers talk about "moving parts"?

    is the cross-bar of a bike a moving part? :wink:
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Multiple choice question about constant velocity
Loading...