Mechanics: Work, Energy and Power

Work, Energy and Power: Audio Guided Solution

Problem 30:

Gwen is baby-sitting for the Parker family. She takes 3-year old Allison to the neighborhood park and places her in the seat of the children's swing. Gwen pulls the 1.8-m long chain back to make a 26° angle with the vertical and lets 14-kg Allison (swing mass included) go. Assuming negligible friction and air resistance, determine Allison's speed at the lowest point in the trajectory.

Audio Guided Solution

Habits of an Effective Problem Solver

  • Read the problem carefully and develop a mental picture of the physical situation. If necessary, sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help you visualize it.
  • Identify the known and unknown quantities in an organized manner. Equate given values to the symbols used to represent the corresponding quantity - e.g., vo = 0 m/s; a = 4.2 m/s/s; vf = 22.9 m/s; d = ???.
  • Use physics formulas and conceptual reasoning to plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity.
  • Identify the appropriate formula(s) to use.
  • Perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.

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Get more information on the topic of Work, Energy and Power at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.

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