Two objects acceleration problem

In summary, the baby bird falls from a nest 18m high. After the bird falls 2 meters its mother realizes and catches it 1.5m off the ground. The mother has to reach the baby bird in 1.19s using a downward acceleration of -23m/s^2.
  • #1
MightyDogg
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Homework Statement


A baby bird falls from a nest 18m high. After the bird falls 2 meters its mother realizes and catches it 1.5m off the ground. How fast must its mother accelerated down in order to catch its baby?

Homework Equations


[tex]x= \frac{1}{2} a t^2[/tex]

The Attempt at a Solution


I calculated the time it took the baby bird to fall 2m. It was .638 s. Then I calculated the total it takes for the baby bird to fall 16.5m (1.5m off the ground) and it was 1.835 s. Then I subtracted the two to get the time the mother has to reach its the baby bird. That time was 1.19s. Then I plug it back into the equation with 'x' as 16.5m. I calculate acceleration to equal -23m/s^2.

Is that correct? I think it is, I just want to double check. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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  • #2
Your answer looks correct. I guess the negative sign indicates that the acceleration is downward. It could be that the problem is asking only for the magnitude of the acceleration in which case you could drop the sign. Hard to tell.
 
  • #3
I forgot to mention when I put 16.5m into the last equation I made it negative because it was going downward, thus my acceleration turned out negative.

As long as the magnitude is correct then I'm ok with the problem. Thank you for double checking my work.
 
  • #4
MightyDogg said:
I forgot to mention when I put 16.5m into the last equation I made it negative because it was going downward, thus my acceleration turned out negative.

As long as the magnitude is correct then I'm ok with the problem. Thank you for double checking my work.

As you get into more complicated questions, make sure to draw your coordinate system indicating which directions are positive! This can save you lots of heartache in the future, especially with problems relating to force.
 
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Related to Two objects acceleration problem

1. What is the definition of acceleration in a two object problem?

Acceleration in a two object problem is the rate of change of velocity for both objects. It is a vector quantity that describes the change in speed and direction of an object over time.

2. How do you calculate the acceleration for each object in a two object problem?

To calculate the acceleration for each object, you need to use the formula a = (vf - vi)/t, where a is acceleration, vf is final velocity, vi is initial velocity, and t is time. This formula can be applied to both objects separately.

3. What factors affect the acceleration of two objects?

The acceleration of two objects can be affected by several factors including the mass of the objects, the force acting on the objects, and the friction between the objects and their surroundings. Other factors such as air resistance and the shape of the objects can also have an impact on acceleration.

4. How does Newton's Second Law apply to a two object acceleration problem?

Newton's Second Law states that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on the object and inversely proportional to its mass. In a two object acceleration problem, this law can be applied to both objects individually to determine their respective accelerations.

5. Can the acceleration of two objects be different in a two object acceleration problem?

Yes, the acceleration of two objects can be different in a two object acceleration problem. This is because each object may have a different mass and experience different forces, resulting in different accelerations. However, the net force acting on both objects must be equal according to Newton's Third Law of Motion.

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