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An example illustrating the independence of vertical and horizontal motions is given by two baseballs. One baseball is dropped from rest. At the same instant, another is thrown horizontally from the same height and it follows a curved path. A stroboscope captures the positions of the balls at fixed time intervals as they fall ( [link] ).

Two identical balls are illustrated at 5 locations at equal time intervals. The balls start at the same vertical position. Green arrows represent the horizontal velocities and purple arrows represent the vertical velocities at each position. The ball on the right has an initial horizontal velocity whereas the ball on the left has no horizontal velocity. The horizontal motion is constant horizontal velocity at all times for both balls. The vertical motion is constant vertical acceleration. Each ball’s vertical velocity is increasing in magnitude and pointing down. At each instant in time, both balls have identical vertical positions and vertical velocities.
A diagram of the motions of two identical balls: one falls from rest and the other has an initial horizontal velocity. Each subsequent position is an equal time interval. Arrows represent the horizontal and vertical velocities at each position. The ball on the right has an initial horizontal velocity whereas the ball on the left has no horizontal velocity. Despite the difference in horizontal velocities, the vertical velocities and positions are identical for both balls, which shows the vertical and horizontal motions are independent.

It is remarkable that for each flash of the strobe, the vertical positions of the two balls are the same. This similarity implies vertical motion is independent of whether the ball is moving horizontally. (Assuming no air resistance, the vertical motion of a falling object is influenced by gravity only, not by any horizontal forces.) Careful examination of the ball thrown horizontally shows it travels the same horizontal distance between flashes. This is because there are no additional forces on the ball in the horizontal direction after it is thrown. This result means horizontal velocity is constant and is affected neither by vertical motion nor by gravity (which is vertical). Note this case is true for ideal conditions only. In the real world, air resistance affects the speed of the balls in both directions.

The two-dimensional curved path of the horizontally thrown ball is composed of two independent one-dimensional motions (horizontal and vertical). The key to analyzing such motion, called projectile motion , is to resolve it into motions along perpendicular directions. Resolving two-dimensional motion into perpendicular components is possible because the components are independent.

Summary

  • The position function r ( t ) gives the position as a function of time of a particle moving in two or three dimensions. Graphically, it is a vector from the origin of a chosen coordinate system to the point where the particle is located at a specific time.
  • The displacement vector Δ r gives the shortest distance between any two points on the trajectory of a particle in two or three dimensions.
  • Instantaneous velocity gives the speed and direction of a particle at a specific time on its trajectory in two or three dimensions, and is a vector in two and three dimensions.
  • The velocity vector is tangent to the trajectory of the particle.
  • Displacement r ( t ) can be written as a vector sum of the one-dimensional displacements x ( t ) , y ( t ) , z ( t ) along the x , y , and z directions.
  • Velocity v ( t ) can be written as a vector sum of the one-dimensional velocities v x ( t ) , v y ( t ) , v z ( t ) along the x , y , and z directions.
  • Motion in any given direction is independent of motion in a perpendicular direction.

Conceptual questions

What form does the trajectory of a particle have if the distance from any point A to point B is equal to the magnitude of the displacement from A to B ?

straight line

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Give an example of a trajectory in two or three dimensions caused by independent perpendicular motions.

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If the instantaneous velocity is zero, what can be said about the slope of the position function?

The slope must be zero because the velocity vector is tangent to the graph of the position function.

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Problems

The coordinates of a particle in a rectangular coordinate system are (1.0, –4.0, 6.0). What is the position vector of the particle?

r = 1.0 i ^ 4.0 j ^ + 6.0 k ^

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The position of a particle changes from r 1 = ( 2.0 i ^ + 3.0 j ^ ) cm to r 2 = ( −4.0 i ^ + 3.0 j ^ ) cm . What is the particle’s displacement?

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The 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Course is a dogleg to the left of length 496.0 m. The fairway off the tee is taken to be the x direction. A golfer hits his tee shot a distance of 300.0 m, corresponding to a displacement Δ r 1 = 300.0 m i ^ , and hits his second shot 189.0 m with a displacement Δ r 2 = 172.0 m i ^ + 80.3 m j ^ . What is the final displacement of the golf ball from the tee?

Δ r Total = 472.0 m i ^ + 80.3 m j ^

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A bird flies straight northeast a distance of 95.0 km for 3.0 h. With the x -axis due east and the y -axis due north, what is the displacement in unit vector notation for the bird? What is the average velocity for the trip?

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A cyclist rides 5.0 km due east, then 10.0 km 20 ° west of north. From this point she rides 8.0 km due west. What is the final displacement from where the cyclist started?

Sum of displacements = −6.4 km i ^ + 9.4 km j ^

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New York Rangers defenseman Daniel Girardi stands at the goal and passes a hockey puck 20 m and 45 ° from straight down the ice to left wing Chris Kreider waiting at the blue line. Kreider waits for Girardi to reach the blue line and passes the puck directly across the ice to him 10 m away. What is the final displacement of the puck? See the following figure.

An illustration of the situation described in the problem. The goal and the two ice hockey players are drawn as viewed from above. The goal and Girardi are at the origin of an x y coordinate system. A gray arrow representing 20 meters at 45 degrees from the positive x direction is shown, with Kreider drawn near the tip of the arrow. A blue line, parallel to the x axis, is also drawn at the tip of this arrow. A second gray arrow is shown starting at the Kreider’s location, pointing horizontally to the left, and representing a distance of 10 meters. A dark blue arrow is drawn from the goal at the origin to the tip of the second, 10 meter, gray arrow.
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The position of a particle is r ( t ) = 4.0 t 2 i ^ 3.0 j ^ + 2.0 t 3 k ^ m . (a) What is the velocity of the particle at 0 s and at 1.0 s? (b) What is the average velocity between 0 s and 1.0 s?

a. v ( t ) = 8.0 t i ^ + 6.0 t 2 k ^ , v ( 0 ) = 0 , v ( 1.0 ) = 8.0 i ^ + 6.0 k ^ m/s ,
b. v avg = 4.0 i ^ + 2.0 k ^ m/s

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Clay Matthews, a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, can reach a speed of 10.0 m/s. At the start of a play, Matthews runs downfield at 45 ° with respect to the 50-yard line and covers 8.0 m in 1 s. He then runs straight down the field at 90 ° with respect to the 50-yard line for 12 m, with an elapsed time of 1.2 s. (a) What is Matthews’ final displacement from the start of the play? (b) What is his average velocity?

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The F-35B Lighting II is a short-takeoff and vertical landing fighter jet. If it does a vertical takeoff to 20.00-m height above the ground and then follows a flight path angled at 30 ° with respect to the ground for 20.00 km, what is the final displacement?

Δ r 1 = 20.00 m j ^ , Δ r 2 = ( 2.000 × 10 4 m ) ( cos 30 ° i ^ + sin 30 ° j ^ )
Δ r = 1.700 × 10 4 m i ^ + 1.002 × 10 4 m j ^

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Questions & Answers

In Example, we calculated the final speed of a roller coaster that descended 20 m in height and had an initial speed of 5 m/s downhill. Suppose the roller coaster had had an initial speed of 5 m/s uphill instead, and it coasted uphill, stopped, and then rolled back down to a final point 20 m bel
tan Reply
A steel lift column in a service station is 4 meter long and .2 meter in diameter. Young's modulus for steel is 20 X 1010N/m2.  By how much does the column shrink when a 5000- kg truck is on it?
Andiswa Reply
what exactly is a transverse wave
Dharmee Reply
does newton's first law mean that we don't need gravity to be attracted
Dharmee Reply
no, it just means that a brick isn't gonna move unless something makes it move. if in the air, moves down because of gravity. if on floor, doesn't move unless something has it move, like a hand pushing the brick. first law is that an object will stay at rest or motion unless another force acts upon
Grant
yeah but once gravity has already been exerted .. i am saying that it need not be constantly exerted now according to newtons first law
Dharmee
gravity is constantly being exerted. gravity is the force of attractiveness between two objects. you and another person exert a force on each other but the reason you two don't come together is because earth's effect on both of you is much greater
Grant
maybe the reason we dont come together is our inertia only and not gravity
Dharmee
this is the definition of inertia: a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.
Grant
the earth has a much higher affect on us force wise that me and you together on each other, that's why we don't attract, relatively speaking of course
Grant
quite clear explanation but i just want my mind to be open to any theory at all .. its possible that maybe gravity does not exist at all or even the opposite can be true .. i dont want a fixed state of mind thats all
Dharmee
why wouldn't gravity exist? gravity is just the attractive force between two objects, at least to my understanding.
Grant
earth moves in a circular motion so yes it does need a constant force for a circular motion but incase of objects on earth i feel maybe there is no force of attraction towards the centre and its our inertia forcing us to stay at a point as once gravity had acted on the object
Dharmee
why should it exist .. i mean its all an assumption and the evidences are empirical
Dharmee
We have equations to prove it and lies of evidence to support. we orbit because we have a velocity and the sun is pulling us. Gravity is a law, we know it exists.
Grant
yeah sure there are equations but they are based on observations and assumptions
Dharmee
g is obtained by a simple pendulum experiment ...
Dharmee
gravity is tested by dropping a rock...
Grant
and also there were so many newtonian laws proved wrong by einstein . jus saying that its a law doesnt mean it cant be wrong
Dharmee
pendulum is good for showing energy transfer, here is an article on the detection of gravitational waves: ***ligo.org/detections.php
Grant
yeah but g is calculated by pendulum oscillations ..
Dharmee
thats what .. einstein s fabric model explains that force of attraction by sun on earth but i am talking about force of attraction by earth on objects on earth
Dharmee
no... this is how gravity is calculated:F = G*((m sub 1*m sub 2)/r^2)
Grant
gravitational constant is obtained EXPERIMENTALLY
Dharmee
the G part
Dharmee
Calculate the time of one oscillation or the period (T) by dividing the total time by the number of oscillations you counted. Use your calculated (T) along with the exact length of the pendulum (L) in the above formula to find "g." This is your measured value for "g."
Dharmee
G is the universal gravitational constant. F is the gravity
Grant
search up the gravity equation
Grant
yeahh G is obtained experimentally
Dharmee
sure yes
Grant
thats what .. after all its EXPERIMENTALLY calculated so its empirical
Dharmee
yes... so where do we disagree?
Grant
its empirical whixh means it can be proved wrong
Dharmee
so cant just say why wouldnt gravity exists
Dharmee
the constant, sure but extremely unlikely it is wrong. gravity however exists, there are equations and loads of support surrounding the concept. unfortunately I don't have a high enough background in physics but have this discussion with a physicist
Grant
can u suggest a platform where i can?
Dharmee
stack overflow
Grant
stack exchange, physics section***
Grant
its an app?
Dharmee
there is! it is also a website as well
Grant
okayy
Dharmee
nice talking to you
Dharmee
***physics.stackexchange.com/
Grant
likewise :)
Grant
What is the percentage by massof oxygen in Al2(so4)3
Isiguzo Reply
A spring with 50g mass suspended from it,has its length extended by 7.8cm 1.1 determine the spring constant? 1.2 it is observed that the length of the spring decreases by 4.7cm,from its original length, when a toy is place on top of it. what is the mass of the toy?
Silindelo Reply
solution mass = 50g= 0.05kg force= 50 x 10= 500N extension= 7.8cm = 0.078m using the formula Force= Ke K = force/extension 500/.078 = 6410.25N/m
Sampson
1.2 Decrease in length= -4.7cm =-0.047m mass=? acceleration due to gravity= 10 force = K x e force= mass x acceleration m x a = K x e mass = K x e/acceleration = 6410.25 x 0.047/10 = 30.13kg
Sampson
1.1 6.28Nm-¹
Anita
1.2 0.03kg or 30g
Anita
I used g=9.8ms-²
Anita
you should explain how yoy got the answer Anita
Grant
ok
Anita
with the fomular F=mg I got the value for force because now the force acting on the spring is the weight of the object and also you have to convert from grams to kilograms and cm to meter
Anita
so the spring constant K=F/e where F is force and e is extension
Anita
In this first example why didn't we use P=P° + ¶hg where ¶ is density
Anita Reply
Density = force applied x area p=fA =p = mga, then a=h therefore substitute =p =mgh
Hlehle
Please correct me
Hlehle
sorry I had a little typo in my question
Anita
Density = m/v (mass/volume) simple as that
Augustine
Hlehle vilakazi how density is equal to force * area and you also wrote p= mgh which is machenical potential energy ? how ?
Manorama
what is wave
Alfred Reply
who can state the third equation of motion
Alfred
wave is a distrubance that travelled in medium from one point to another with carry energy .
Manorama
wave is a periodic disturbance that carries energy from one medium to another..
Augustine
what exactly is a transverse wave then?
Dharmee
two particles rotate in a rigid body then acceleration will be ?
kinza Reply
same acceleration for all particles because all prticles will be moving with same angular velocity.so at any time interval u find same acceleration of all the prticles
Zaheer
what is electromagnetism
David Reply
It is the study of the electromagnetic force, one of the four fundamental forces of nature. ... It includes the electric force, which pushes all charged particles, and the magnetic force, which only pushes moving charges.
Energy
what is units?
Subhajit Reply
units as in how
praise
What is th formular for force
Joseph Reply
F = m x a
Santos
State newton's second law of motion
Seth Reply
can u tell me I cant remember
Indigo
force is equal to mass times acceleration
Santos
The acceleration of a system is directly proportional to the and in the same direction as the external force acting on the system and inversely proportional to its mass that is f=ma
David
The rate of change of momentum of a body is directly proportional to the force exerted on that body.
Rani
The uniform seesaw shown below is balanced on a fulcrum located 3.0 m from the left end. The smaller boy on the right has a mass of 40 kg and the bigger boy on the left has a mass 80 kg. What is the mass of the board?
Asad Reply
Consider a wave produced on a stretched spring by holding one end and shaking it up and down. Does the wavelength depend on the distance you move your hand up and down?
Sohail Reply
no, only the frequency and the material of the spring
Chun
how to read physics ncert?
Tech
beat line read important. line under line
Rahul
Practice Key Terms 3

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 1. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12031/1.5
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