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!

Question re: constant velocity,zero acceleration

  1. Sep 8, 2006 #1
    I have a homework problem that I can't seem to figure out... Hope someone can help me...

    Runner A is initially 4.0 miles west of a flagpole and is running with a constant velocity of 6.0 mi/h due east. Runner B is initially 3.0 miles east of the flagpole and is running with a constant velocity of 5.0 mi/h due west. How far are the runners from the flagpole when they meet?

    I have looked at all of my equations, and I can't seem to find one that fits... Any help would be appreciated.


    edit: I figured with the words "due west" and "due east" that the distance traveled is in a straight line with no slope... the part that's confusing me is the "part where they meet"... I used the average speed = distance/time and found runner B to be arriving at the flagpole ahead of runner a.... so, i assume that the point that they meet will be west of the flagpole... that's about where my brain stops working :)
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2006 #2
    I would appreciate any help if someone can just steer me in the right direction.... please!!!

    Thanks again.
  4. Sep 8, 2006 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Do the runners start at the same time?

    For each runner x = xo +/- v*t, where t is the time (duration) of the running. If the runners start at the same time and end at the same time, then they travel during the same period.

    Take west as -x and east at +x. Running west, mean -v and running east means +v.

    Determine the point at which they meet, and that should give the distance with respect to the flagpole (x=0). If x=-1mi, then the runners are west of the flagpole by one mile.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?