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Homework Help: Rail Gun type problem - find distance of particle traveled with minimal data

  1. Mar 29, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Hello. I want to help a friend solve a problem. I'm having trouble finding the right way to solve for distance for this problem. I am given 2 parallel wires connected by another wire or perhaps a conducting fuse. His information is kind of vague, sorry. The current goes up one of the wires through the fuse and down the other wire. The magnetic field B is in the k (z)-direction and has a value of 4.7 T. The current is 7.2 A. The distance between the two wires is 0.48 meters. The distance from the fuse up to where the particle is shot out is 0.7 meters. How the heck do you find the distance the particle travels out if it starts out initially at rest, and the acceleration is uniform?

    2. Relevant equations

    I'm really not sure right now. My head is fried and I know basic equations like F=i LxB or something, maybe F=iLBsin(θ). Perhaps...F=ILB=ma. I really don't know!!

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I don't know how to get a solution because I don't know the right equation(s) to use! My attempt at a solution is just to ask for help on here. I don't need an answer, rather just the concepts and formulas needed to understand the physics of the problem. Thank you very much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2012 #2
    There are two stages of this problem. In the first stage, the wire gets accelerated horizontally by the effect of Ampere's force. You need to find the terminal .velocity of this stage.

    The second stage is a horizontal shot with an initial velocity equal to what you had found previously, and from a given height. You're required to find the range.

    How will you set up the solution?
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