I solved the problem but I want to make sure I did it correctly.
starting at time t=0, a train is halted by a braking deceleration of , with the result that its position at time t is
show that is the train's postion when the brakes are applied and is its velocity at that time. Find the stopping distances if is
and solve s(t) to get the distance using
thus the answer is 400 metres.
ps. teaching myself LaTex
Did you copy the problem word for word? Some of this just doesn't make sense.
The brakes are applied at t = 0. I'm not sure what they wanted out of the first question...we need to show that the position of the train at t = 0 ( ) is the train's position. So we have
So is the position of the train when t = 0.
(The acceleration is opposite to the speed of the train. Good job in picking up the negative there.)
And v_0 is equal to v at t = 0. Well, we have
at t = 0:
So is the speed of the train at t = 0.
Why were these questions even asked?? and are from the definitions of s(0) and v(0). Again we can usually assume , but this was never done. I just don't get it.
For the last part we know that v(t) = 0 at the final point, so from the speed equation we have
, as you said, but:
What is ? This was not given in the problem statement. (Typically we set by choice of the origin, but this was never mentioned for this problem.)
Tell your professor for me that you need to set an origin for Physics problems (which is why I'm repeating that.) If you take the train to be at the origin then we have then the last question can be done.
Edit: We cross posted. Using is a good move. Thanks votan.
Yes the statement of the problem is poor and confusing to most students. I picked up what the question was about from the statement - find the stopping distance. I don't know if this this a textbook question, or the instructor lousy excess of zeal to complicate the life of his students. He could be a lab technician in charge of the course, and that shows how much he has to learn before leading a class on this subject.
Unfortunately, I do not have a professor. I am teaching myself math in the hopes to get into university to study the maths. It can be frustrating but I am persistent. I do see the error in the textbook. I really like differential geometry, I read about it but still a lot of it is beyond my current knowledge base--I will get there.