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Homework Help: Newtonian Mechanics

  1. Mar 4, 2010 #1
    (Moderator's note: thread moved from "Differential Equations")

    A parachutist whose weight is 75 kg drops from a helicopter hovering 2000 m above the ground and falls towards the ground under the influence of gravity. Assume that the force due to the air resistance is proportional to the velocity of the parachutist, with the proportionality constant k1 = 30 kg/sec when the chute is close and k2= 90 kg/sec when the chute is open. If the chute does not open until the velocity of the parachutist reaches 20 m/sec, after how many seconds will it be before the parachutist reach the ground? ( Take g = 9.81 m/sec2.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2010 #2


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    This sounds like a homework problem...have you at least tried to solve it?
  4. Mar 4, 2010 #3
    i've tried :

    The equation of motion of the parachutist falling is :

    m(dv/dt) = mg-k1v.................................................. ....................................1

    From (1) we have : mdv/(mg-k1v)=dt

    And integrating from t=0 to t=t1and from v=0 to v= 20m/sec we have :

    t1=(m/k1) ln |mg/(mg-k1v)|

    And substituting the values given by the problem we find the time taken before the parachut opens .

    And since the equation for the motion is the same for the part where the parachut is open ,in a similar way you can calculate the time taken for this part ,and hence the overall time taken before the parachutist reach the ground

    is my answer correct ???
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
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