Mechanics: Vectors and Forces in Two-Dimensions

Vectors and Forces in 2-D: Audio Guided Solution

Problem 10:

A fire breaks out on a high rise building and a rescue helicopter is called to the scene. The helicopter is equipped with a rescue basket attached by a strong cable to a winch on the helicopter. The rescue basket is lowered to the roof and some occupants of the top floor escape to the roof and enter the basket. As the helicopter takes off, the cable momentarily makes a 78.2° angle to the horizontal, imparting a slight horizontal acceleration to the 621-kg basket and occupants across the roof top. The coefficient of friction between the basket and the roof top is 0.568 and the tension in the cable is 4980 N. Determine the acceleration of the basket and occupants. (Suggestion: Begin with a free body diagram.)

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., m = 1.25 kg, µ = 0.459, vo = 0.0 m/s,  Ø = 41.6º, vf = ???.
  • 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 Vectors and Forces in Two-Dimensions at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.

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