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Math Help - Help with calculus problem

  1. #1
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    Help with calculus problem

    A bocce ball is accidentally dropped from a building 98m high. How long does it take for the bocce ball to hit the ground, given that the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 meters per second per second?

    I took
    s(t)=-4.9t^2 + 9.8 = 0
    Solved for t
    -4.9t^2 = -9.8
    t^2=2
    t=sqrt(2)=1.414 seconds.

    I had to enter my answer into a computer checking system, and it says that my answer is wrong. What am I doing wrong?
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  2. #2
    A Plied Mathematician
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    Your initial condition has the decimal point in the wrong location.
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  3. #3
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    ?

    Sorry if this seems like a silly question....but which part of my equation has a decimal in the wrong area? Where is the decimal supposed to be???

    Thanks!
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  4. #4
    A Plied Mathematician
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    The basic equation you use to solve these problems is:

    y=y_{0}+v_{0y}t-\frac{g}{2}\,t^{2},

    correct? You have correctly plugged in g and v_{0y}=0, and you are correctly solving for the t when y=0. However, your initial condition for the position, y_{0}=98, not 9.8. Now do you see it?
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