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Relative Velocity

Relative Velocity

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Published by Anurag Malik

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Published by: Anurag Malik on Jul 14, 2010
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10/25/2012

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Relative Velocity 
Introduction:
 To study a number of one-dimensional problems, concept of relativevelocity is essential. If we say that the velocity of train is 50 km/ h; it simply means that itis with respect to observer standing on earth. Suppose a cyclist chases the train with avelocity 10 km/h; then the displacement of train in 1 hour is 50 km relative to observer on earth and 40 km/ h relative to cyclist chasing the train.Formula for Relative VelocityConsider two objects P
1
and P
2
moving with uniform velocities v
1
and v
2
along the samestraight line. Let x
1
(0), x
2
(0) be their initial positions and x
1
, x
2
their positions after time t.Then,
For object P
1
,
 Displacement of object P
1
in time t
For object P
2
,
 Displacement of object P
2
in time tSubtracting (2) from (3)This equation gives the displacement of object P
2
with respect to P
1
and is called therelative displacement. While the quantity (v
2
-v
1
) is called the relative velocity of objectP
2
with respect to P
1
.
 
Thus, relative velocity is the time rate of change of relative displacement of one objectwith respect to other.The relative displacement and relative velocity may be positive, negative or zero.Clearly, relative velocity of object P
2
relative to P
1
is v
=v
2
-v
1
=velocity of P
2
- velocity of P
1
.If v
2
> v
1
the relative velocity is positive.If v
2
< v
1
the relative velocity is negative.If v
2
= v
1
the relative velocity is zero.Position ± Time Graph of Object in Relative Motion
y
 
If v
2
-v
1
=0, or v
2
=v
1
, then we note that the objects remain at constant distanceapart, so their position-time graphs have same slope, consequently their graphs willbe parallel straight lines.
y
 
If If v
2
-v
1
is non-zero or v
2
v1 , then their position-time graphs must havedifferent slopes. That is one graphs must meet once at a common point.
E
xplanation for Two Dimension's Relative Velocity
Eq
uation for relative velocity in two dimension:
 The two dimension object derive the relative velocity with vectors. Consider theexample, A and B are particles with v
 A
and v
B
velocities respectively and in coordinatesystem. Therefore relative velocity of system is v
 A rel B
= v
 A
- v
B
.If B velocity is related to A means v
B rel A
= v
B
- v
 A
. If there is no any specificationfor coordinate system means alternatively use the inertial coordinate system.

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