Mechanics: Work, Energy and Power

Work, Energy and Power: Audio Guided Solution

Problem 23:

According to ABC's Wide World of Sports show, there is the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. On March 21 of 1970, Vinko Bogataj was the Yugoslavian entrant into the World Championships held in former West Germany. By his third and final jump of the day, heavy and persistent snow produced dangerous conditions along the slope. Midway through the run, Bogataj recognized the danger and attempted to make adjustments in order to terminate his jump. Instead, he lost his balanced and tumbled and flipped off the slope into the dense crowd. For nearly 30 years thereafter, footage of the event was included in the introduction of ABC's infamous sports show and Vinco has become known as the agony of defeat icon.

a. Determine the speed of 72-kg Vinco after skiing down the hill to a height which is 49 m below the starting location.
b. After descending the 49 m, Vinko tumbled off the track and descended another 15 m down the ski hill before finally stopping. Determine the change in potential energy of Vinko from the top of the hill to the point at which he stops.
c. Determine the amount of cumulative work done upon Vinko's body as he crashes to a halt.

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., 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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