We know that the average speed during a journey is given by (Total Distance Covered) / (TotalTime Taken); but there are a few special cases which might help in solving questions,
- If the
distance covered is constant
) in each part of the journey, thenthe average speed is the Harmonic Mean of the values.Speed
= n / (1/s
… = t
) in each part of the journey then the averagespeed is Arithmetic Mean of the values.Speed
Funda 2: Using Progressions (Arithmetic & Harmonic)
In many questions, you will come across a situation when a person is going from point A topoint B at various speeds and taking various times. We know that if
distance is constant
,speed and time are inversely proportional to each other. But this information can also be usedto deduce the following two facts,
- If the various speeds which are mentioned are in AP, then the corresponding times taken will be in HP.- If the various speeds which are mentioned are in HP, then the corresponding times taken will be in AP.
Let us use these ideas to solve couple of quant questions.
Arun, Barun and Kiranmala start from the same place and travel in the same direction atspeeds of 30, 40 and 60 km per hour respectively. Barun starts two hours after Arun. If Barunand Kiranmala overtake Arun at the same instant, how many hours after Arun did Kiranmalastart? [from CAT 2006]
(Some useless information: Arun Barun Kiranmala is a 1968 Bangladeshi film. Now you canguess what inspires the CAT question setters. Here is asong from the film
As you can see that the speeds are in HP, so we can say that the times taken will bein AP. Time difference between Arun and Barun is 2 hours, so the time difference betweenBarun and Kiranbala will also be 2 hours.Hence, Kiranbala started 4 hours after Arun.
Rishi Kapoor can swim a certain course against the river flow in 84 minutes; he can swim thesame course with the river flow in 9 minutes less than he can swim in still water. How longwould he take to swim the course with the river flow?