Mechanics: Vectors and Projectiles

Vectors and Projectiles: Audio Guided Solution

Problem 16:

Taylor and Drew finish their last class on the day before Spring break and decide to take a spontaneous road trip. Their trip involves the following movements:

42 miles, 67° north of west (113° CCW)
61 miles, west
23 miles, 17° west of south (253° CCW)

Taylor's car breaks down after the last leg of the trip. How far and in what direction are Taylor and Drew from campus?


Audio Guided Solution

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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., vox = 12.4 m/s, voy = 0.0 m/s, dx = 32.7 m, dy = ???.
  • 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.

Read About It!

Get more information on the topic of Vectors and Projectiles at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.

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