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Homework Help: Relative Velocity Problem

  1. Oct 9, 2005 #1
    I'm not sure how to do this problem.. please help..

    A river flows toward the east. Because of your knowledge of physics, you head your boat 53 degrees west of north and have a velocity of 6.0 m/s due north relative to the shore.
    a. What is the velocity of the current.
    b. What is your speed relative to the water?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2005 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Velocities are vectors.
    Draw a diagram and divide the velocities into x and y components.
  4. Oct 10, 2005 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Almost the same answer: draw a picture showing the vectors: the boat's velocity relative to the shore, the river current's velocity, and the boat's velocity relative to the current. Look at the right triangle you have just drawn and use trigonometry.
  5. Oct 10, 2005 #4
    I ended up getting
    a. 8m/s
    b. 10m/s

    Is this correct? it looks like a 6,8,10 triangle to me.
  6. Oct 10, 2005 #5


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    Homework Helper

    Yes, they are correct.
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