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Relative Velocity, Acceleration and Kinematics

Lecture 5 (August 7)
Physics 1A, Summer Session II, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Clicker Question 4-I

Which of the following is true about acceleration?

A) Acceleration is the rate of change of position in


time.
B) Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity in
time.
C) Acceleration is a synonym for velocity.
D) Acceleration is a synonym for scalar.
E) Acceleration is a synonym for motion.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Clicker Question 4-II

True or false: An object moving at a constant speed


cannot be accelerating.
A) True because acceleration is the rate at which the speed of
an object changes in time and the speed is not changing.
B) True because acceleration is rate at which the velocity of an
object changes in time and the velocity is not changing.
C) False because acceleration is the rate at which the speed of
an object changes in time and the speed could be changing.
D) False because acceleration is the rate at which the velocity of
an object changes in time and the velocity could be changing.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Relative velocity
✦ The measured velocity of an object depends on the velocity of the
observer doing the measuring (relative to the moving object).
✦ Usually in this class, we will measure velocities in comparison with
the ground.
✦ Our observers make measurements assuming they are at rest, even if
they are not at rest as compared with the ground.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Clicker Question 5-1
Sam and George are riding in separate cars on the freeway. The
lanes they are driving in are adjacent. Sam travels at 65 mph and
George travels at 72 mph. What is Sam’s velocity relative to
George? What is George’s velocity relative to Sam?
A) 7 mph, -7 mph
B) -7 mph, 7 mph
C) 65 mph, 72 mph
D) 72 mph, 65 mph
E) 0 mph, 0 mph

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Acceleration
✦ Acceleration is the rate at which the velocity of an object changes
with time.

 Δv
a=
Δt

✦ Acceleration is a vector, so it has a size and direction


✦ The magnitude of the acceleration tells us how much the object
is speeding up or slowing down.
✦ The direction of the acceleration shows us the direction of the
change in velocity.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Clicker Question 5-2

What is the SI unit of acceleration?

A) m/s
B) 2
m /s
C) m/s2

D) 2
m /s2

E) m

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Clicker Question 5-3
A “motion diagram” is shown. It is a
series of snapshots of a bunny’s
position taken every 1.0 seconds. x
What is the direction of the
acceleration vector if the bunny is
moving to the right?

A) To the right
B) To the left
C) In the plane of the slide, directed up
D) In the plane of the slide, directed down
E) Pointing out of the slide, towards us
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Clicker Question 5-4

In which case below is it possible to have a negative acceleration?

A) An object that is slowing down always has a negative acceleration,


regardless of the direction it travels.
B) An object that is speeding up always has a negative acceleration,
regardless of the direction it travels.
C) An object that is slowing down while traveling in the negative
direction always has a negative acceleration.
D) An object that is speeding up while traveling in the negative direction
always has a negative acceleration.
E) It is not possible to have a negative acceleration in any of the above
cases.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Clicker Question 5-5
A “motion diagram” is shown. It is a
series of snapshots of a bunny’s
position taken every 1.0 seconds. x
What is the direction of the
acceleration vector if the bunny is
moving to the left?

A) To the right
B) To the left
C) In the plane of the slide, directed up
D) In the plane of the slide, directed down
E) Pointing out of the slide, towards us
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Clicker Question 5-6

Two objects are connected and remain tightly connected as they


move together. Which of the following is true about the objects?
A) The objects’ velocities are equal, but their accelerations are not
necessarily equal throughout their connected motion.

B) The objects’ accelerations are equal, but their velocities are not
necessarily equal throughout their connected motion.

C) Both the accelerations and the velocities of the objects are equal
throughout their connected motion.

D) Neither the objects’ velocities nor their accelerations are necessarily


equal throughout their connected motion.

E) The objects have unequal displacements.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Average and instantaneous acceleration
✦ We can picture acceleration as the slope of the velocity vs. time
graph
✦ Average acceleration is an acceleration calculated when the time
interval ∆t is the total time interval that has elapsed.
✦ Average acceleration is the slope of the line drawn on a velocity
vs. time graph from the starting time to the ending time.
✦ Instantaneous acceleration is the acceleratoin when the time
interval ∆t used to calculate the acceleration is very small
(instantaneous).
✦ Instantaneous acceleration is the slope of the velocity vs. time
graph at a single point on the graph; it is tangent to a graph at 
that single point.
 Δv
a=
Δt
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Clicker Question 5-7
An linebacker starts at t=0.00 seconds with a velocity of 1.75 m/s in
the negative x-direction. At t=3.00 seconds, the linebacker has a
velocity of 1.25 m/s in the positive x-direction. What is the
linebacker’s average acceleration in this time interval?

A) 0.167 m/s2 in the positive x-direction


B) 0.167 m/s2 in the negative x-direction
C) 1.0 m/s2 in the positive x-direction
D) 1.0 m/s2 in the negative x-direction
E) 3.0 m/s2

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Clicker Question 5-8
v
The velocity vs. time graph of a
snail is shown. What does the t
acceleration vs. time graph look like?
a a

A) t
D) t

B) t E) None of
a

C) t the above
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Clicker Question 5-9
a
The acceleration vs. time graph of a snail is
shown in blue. Describe the snail’s velocity t
in the three time segments shown.
A) The snail starts by accelerating, then he continues at a constant speed,
then he decelerates.

B) The snail starts by decelerating, then he continues at a constant speed,


then he accelerates.

C) The snail starts by accelerating, then he comes to a stop, then he


decelerates.

D) The snail starts by decelerating, then he comes to a stop, then he


accelerates.

E) The snail’s velocities cannot be determined based solely on the graph.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Motion in two dimensions
✦ An object moving at a constant speed can accelerate if its direction
changes!
Moving in a circle with constant speed
✦ Acceleration vector always points towards the center of the circle
✦ ac=v2/r
✦ The subscript “c” stands for centripetal, which means “center-seeking”
✦ v=speed of particle
✦ r=radius of circle
✦ (Derivation in Serway/Faughn section 7.4)
✦ Need to recall vector subtraction and some geometry (arc length and
similar triangles)

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Metric System Memory mega=10 6

kilo=10 3
We start with 10 6
nothing (no prefix)=10 0

and we drop that power by 3: milli=10 -3

mega m i c r o=10 -6

nano=10 -9
kilo
(Nothing)
then right on down to milli.
micro
then comes nano
but you know that we’re not quite through:
Remember the prefix “centi” stands for -2
10 .

Saturday, August 8, 2009