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October 18, 2007

Physics 130 - a

Dr. Schmidt
Midterm I Answer key

Put your answers in the blue book. Start a new page for each problem. Partial credit will be given for incomplete
answers. At the conclusion of the exam fold your test in half and place it inside your blue book to hand in.
1. (15 points) For each example choose which one of Newtons three laws of motion is most applicable to explain
the observation. Give reasons for your selection.
a) A bicycle rider needs to exert an effort on the pedal of a bicycle to get moving but once he or she is up to
speed it takes little or no effort to keep going. 1st Law
b) An astronaut pushes on a satellite to move out of the bay of the shuttle and the astronaut moves in the
opposite direction. 3rd Law
c) A railroad worker can use a pry bar applied to the wheels of a boxcar to get it to move but it is slow
going (low acceleration). A switch engine moves the same boxcar quickly (large acceleration).2nd Law
d) A person uses their cell phone to push a thumbtack into a wall and breaks the cell phone case. 3rd Law
e) A heavy box resting on the floor stays put even though you exert a force on the side of the box to push it.
1st Law
2. (15 points) Answer True or False to the following statements about the motion of an object in free fall. If the
Statement is false, rewrite the statement to make it true.
stays the same.
a) As an object dropped from rest speeds up the acceleration due to gravity increases. False.
b) In the absence of air friction an object thrown vertically upward will return to the original position with
the same speed it was launched at. True.
c) An object in free fall is an example of uniform deceleration. False.
d) An object thrown up will achieve its maximum acceleration at the top of its trajectory. False.
e) In the absence of air friction an object launched at an angle with respect to the level field will achieve its
maximum range at a launch angle of 45 degrees. True.
3. (10 points) The label on a bottle of soda reads 20 fl oz (591 mL). Does this mean that the metric system more
complicated as some critics would say, or more accurate with a greater number of significant figures, or is the
bottle merely mislabeled? Which number better serves the interest of the consumer? Explain. (3.785 liters = 128
fluid ounces)
The bottle is mislabeled. The 20-fl oz label is no to be interpreted as an exact number. It is to give the
consumer an idea of the amount of fluid contents as opposed to a 16-oz can or a 32-oz bottle. There is no
indication of the accuracy although I am sure the bureau of standard requires the contents to be within a
certain limit of the labeled value. A simple conversion from English to metric should give a value of 590mL. Even 600-mL would serve the consumer better than giving them a value to three significant figures.
4. A motorcycle traveling at 90 km/hr is 50 m behind a car traveling 80 km/hr when the motorcycle accelerates to
pass the car?
a) (8 points) What acceleration is required to pass the car in 10 seconds?
For the motorcycle xm = vmt + amt2/2
For the car
xc = xco + vc t
They meet when xm = xc
vmt + amt2/2 = xco + vc t
amt2/2 = xco + vc t - vmt
am = 2(xco + (vc - vm)t) / t2 = 2(50 m + (80 km/hr 90 km/hr)(1000 m/km/ 3600 s/hr) 10 s) / (10 s)2
am = 0.4444 m/s2 0.44 m/s2
b) (7points) Starting at the point where the motorcycle starts to accelerate, how much distance is needed to
pass the car.
xc = xco + vc t = 50 m + 80 km/hr(1000 m/km/3600 s/hr) 10 s = 272m 270 m

5. (15 points) An airplane making a trip of 3200km travels at a speed of 760 km/hr for the first 2500 km and then
encounters a tail wind which boost its speed to 920 km/hr for the remainder of the trip. What is the average speed
of the plane?
t1 = x1/v1 = 2500 km/760 km/hr = 3.289 hr
t2 = x2/v2 = (3200 km - 2500 km)/920 km/hr = 0.761 hr
t = t1 + t2 = 3.289 hr + 0.761 hr = 4.050 hr
vavg = x/t = 3200 km/4.050 hr = 790.1 km/hr 790 km/hr
6. (15 points) A flowerpot is observed to fall past your window in 0.324 s. The pot hit a car in the street and the
owner is looking for the person responsible. The window is 3.0 m tall (a floor to ceiling window lucky you?).
a) (5 points) What is the average velocity of the flowerpot over the time interval that it passes the window?
vavg = y/t = 3.0 m/0.324 s = 9.259 m/s 9.2 m/s
b) (5 points) How long did the pot fall starting from rest to the lower sill of your window assuming it was
dropped from rest?
vavg = (v1 + v2)/2
v1 = gt1 v2 = gt2 t = t2 t1
t1 = t2 t
vavg = g(t1 + t2)/2 = g(t2 t + t2)/2 = g(2t2 t)/2
vavg/g = t2 t/2
t2 = vavg/g + t/2 = 9.259 m/s/9.8 m/s2 + (0.324 s)/2 = 1.114 s 1.1 s
c) (5 points) How high above your lower sill was the pot dropped from?
y2 = gt22/2 = -9.8 m/s2(1.114 s )2/2 = - 6.081 m - 6.1 m
7. (15 points) A commuter on a train moving at 39 m/s (50 mph) observes the rain falling outside. Due to air
friction the drops have reached a constant speed of fall (terminal speed) in the vertical direction. As the drops hit
the window of the moving train, they form streaks that make an angle of 30o with respect to the vertical. How fast
are the drops falling?
vtrain/vrain = tan 30o
30o vrain
vrain= vtrain/tan 30o = (39 m/s)/tan 30o
vrain= 67.5 m/s 68 m/s
vtrain = 39 m/s