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Homework Help: Physics Problem

  1. Sep 19, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A very silly person, intent on catching pigeons on the roof of an apartment building, trips and falls a distance of 44.6 m. She lands on a metal garbage can, crushing it to a depth of 0.422 m and walks away without having been seriously hurt. What acceleration did she experience during the collision?

    2. Relevant equations
    (see solution attempt)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    This is what I have so far for the first part of the problem (her acceleration, velocity, and position when she is free falling for 44.6m):

    But I'm not sure how to factor in the acceleration of her crushing the garbage can...

    Any help would be awesome!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2009 #2


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    Conservation of energy would be better for this problem

    Her gravitational pe is converted into the work done in crushing the can to the depth of 0.422m
  4. Sep 19, 2009 #3
    But wouldn't I need to know the original size of the garbage can to calculate the work required to crush it?
  5. Sep 19, 2009 #4


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    I don't think you would, the can is crushed to that depth d, so W=Fd.
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