Transfer Phenomenon: Why Coal Slows & Speeds Trains

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  • Thread starter KishoreAM
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In summary, when workers shovel coal from one train to another, the particles of coal going from the slower to the faster train will tend to slow down the faster train, while the coal going from the faster to the slower train will speed up the latter. This is due to the principles of momentum conservation and the absence of friction. The separation of the coal from the faster train does not affect its speed, but the collision process of the coal on the slower train results in the latter gaining speed. This can be explained by considering the impacts of the particles of coal on the trains and their respective speeds.
  • #1
KishoreAM
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Imagine two railroad trains traveling on parallel tracks at different speeds, and workers shoveling coal from one train to the other. On the average, the impact of particles of coal going from the slower to the faster train will tend to slow down the faster train, and similarly the coal going from the faster to the
slower train will Lend to speed up the latter.
Why?
This question seems pretty obvious for somebody, but please try to explain it.
 
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  • #2
Helli Kishore, :welcome:

In the absence of friction (and assuming the coal is thrown sideways wrt the faster train) you can split this up in two parts:
  • a kind of collision process for the coal that lands on the slower train (and indeed, with momentum conservation speeding up the slower train).
  • the separation (throwing it off) of the coal from the faster train does not influence its speed, though. Momentum conservation is still valid.
 

1. What is transfer phenomenon?

Transfer phenomenon refers to the transfer of energy or matter from one object to another. In the case of "Why Coal Slows & Speeds Trains," it refers to the transfer of energy from the burning coal to the steam engine of a train.

2. How does coal affect the speed of a train?

Coal is used as fuel for the steam engine of a train. When coal is burned, it produces heat which creates steam pressure that powers the pistons in the engine. This process allows the train to move forward and increase its speed.

3. Why does coal also slow down trains?

While coal can speed up trains, it can also slow them down. This is because the burning of coal produces ash and soot, which can build up on the tracks and create friction. This friction can cause the train to slow down or even come to a stop.

4. Are there any alternative methods to coal for powering trains?

Yes, there are alternative methods to coal for powering trains. Some modern trains use electricity as their source of energy. This can be supplied through overhead wires or through a third rail. Other trains use diesel fuel as their source of energy.

5. How does the transfer phenomenon of coal impact the environment?

The burning of coal releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air, contributing to air pollution and climate change. However, newer technologies such as carbon capture and storage are being developed to reduce the environmental impact of coal-powered trains.

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