# Solving Hard Physics Problems: Tips and Strategies for Acing Your Homework

• Legend05
In summary, the conversation was about the difficulty of solving physics problems and requesting tips for the following questions: 1) calculating average acceleration during a 100m race, 2) determining the location of a collision between two trains, and 3) finding the time and speed of a collision between two stunt drivers. The conversation also included the student's attempts at solving the problems and their request for feedback and assistance.
Legend05
Well I am doing my homework and there are a few problems that are so hard that i can't even try to get an answer... Hoping you can give me tips to get started,
Here they are:

1) A world-class sprinter accelerates to his maximum speed in 3.9 s. He then maintains this speed for the remainder of a 100m race, finishing with a total time of 8.9 s.

What is his average acceleration during the first 3.9s?

2) The engineer of a passenger train traveling at 25.0 m/s sights a freight train whose caboose is 200m ahead on the same track. The freight train is traveling at 15.0m/s in the same direction as the passenger train. The engineer of the passenger train immediately applies the brakes, causing a constant acceleration of -0.100 m/s^2, while the freight train continues with constant speed. Take x=0 at the location of the front of the passenger train when the engineer applies the brakes.

Where will the colision take place? (i've already determined that there will be one)

3)two stunt drivers drive directly toward each other. At time t=0 the two cars are a distance D apart, car 1 is at rest, and car 2 is moving to the left with speed v0. Car 1 begins to move at t=0, speeding up with a constant acceleration ax. Car 2 continues to move with a constant velocity.

At what time do the two cars collide?

Find the speed of car 1 just before it collides with car 2.

So, i tryed my best but it seems like it's missing data.. maybe the teacher did a mistake. =S
Any tips and feedback is appreciated.
Thx

Hi, please can you show your own attempts as per PF guidelines. Once done, I will gladly assist you.

There is nothing missing from the questions. All are answerable with given data.

Jared

1 and 3 i didnt even try anything because idk where to start. none of the formulas i got work.

#2 i found that after 200m the speed of the train is 24.2 m/s with v^2x=vx0^2+2ax(x-x0). Doesnt help much.

im missing time and postion..how am i supposed do do something without these 2.

Well let's start with 2 then seeing as you have a start at it.

You know the deceleration, initial speed and final speed.

Using v = u + at, calculate the time it takes to reach 15m/s from 25m/s (after 15m/s no collision can occur).

Once you have the time, using s = ut + 0.5at^2 you can calculate the distance traveled by the passenger train in the deceleration time.

Using s = 0.5(u + v)t you can then work out the distance traveled by the freight train (don't forget to add the 200m separation).

From that you can work out where the collision will occur.

v = final speed, u = initial speed, a = acceleration, t = time, s = distance

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I understand the frustration of encountering difficult physics problems. However, it is important to remember that these challenges are what help us grow and develop our problem-solving skills. Here are some tips and strategies that can help you tackle these problems with confidence.

1) Start by understanding the problem: Before attempting to solve a physics problem, make sure you have a clear understanding of what is being asked. Read the problem statement carefully and identify the given information and what is being asked for.

2) Draw a diagram: A visual representation of the problem can often provide valuable insights and help you organize your thoughts. This is especially helpful for problems involving motion, forces, and collisions.

3) Use appropriate equations: Make sure you are familiar with the relevant equations and principles for the problem at hand. Write down the equations that you will need and make sure you understand how to use them.

4) Break it down: If a problem seems overwhelming, try breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts. This can help you focus on one aspect at a time and make the problem more approachable.

5) Practice, practice, practice: Solving physics problems requires practice and familiarity with the concepts and equations. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with different types of problems.

6) Seek help when needed: Don't be afraid to ask for help if you are stuck on a problem. Consult your textbook, classmates, or your teacher for clarification and guidance.

In regards to the specific problems you mentioned, here are some additional tips:

1) For the first problem, use the equation a = (vf - vi)/t to calculate the average acceleration during the first 3.9 seconds. Remember to convert the units to be consistent (e.g. m/s^2).

2) For the second problem, you can use the equations d = vit + 1/2at^2 and v = vi + at to determine the position and velocity of the passenger train at the time of collision. Remember to use the negative acceleration for the passenger train due to the brakes.

3) For the third problem, you can use the equations d = vit + 1/2at^2 and v = vi + at to solve for the time and velocity of car 1 at the time of collision. Remember to consider the direction of motion for each car.

Remember, don't get discouraged if you are struggling with these problems. Keep practicing and seeking help when needed, and

## 1. What are "Hard problems" in the context of science?

"Hard problems" in science refer to complex and challenging issues that require significant effort and resources to understand and solve. These problems often involve multiple disciplines and may have no clear or easy solution.

## 2. How are hard problems identified in science?

Hard problems are typically identified through a combination of observation, experimentation, and analysis. Scientists may also use existing theories and models to identify and understand complex issues in their field.

## 3. What kind of help is needed to solve hard problems in science?

Solving hard problems in science often requires collaboration and support from other scientists, as well as access to advanced technology and resources. Funding and support from governments, organizations, and institutions are also crucial in tackling these challenges.

## 4. Can hard problems in science be solved?

While some hard problems in science may seem insurmountable, many have been solved through persistent research and innovation. However, some hard problems may have no clear solution and may require ongoing efforts and advancements in technology to address.

## 5. How can solving hard problems in science benefit society?

Solving hard problems in science can lead to significant advancements and improvements in various fields, such as medicine, technology, and environmental sustainability. These solutions can have a positive impact on society and contribute to the betterment of human life.

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