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Math Help - Calculus AP Question

  1. #1
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    Calculus AP Question

    A particle moves along the x axis so that at time t its position is given by x(t)= t^3 - 6t^2 + 9t + 11
    a) What is velocity of particle at t=0
    b) During what time intervals is partical moving to the left?
    c) What is the total distance traveled by partical from t=0 to t=2
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  2. #2
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    Hello, meg24209!

    A particle moves along the x axis so that at time t its position
    is given by: . x(t) \:= \:t^3 - 6t^2 + 9t + 11

    a) What is velocity of particle at t=0 ?
    You're expected to know that the velocity is the first derivaitve.

    v(t) \;=\;x'(t) \;=\;3t^2-12t + 9

    At t=0\!:\;\;v(0) \;=\;3\!\cdot\!0^2 - 12\!\cdot\!0 + 9 \;=\;9



    b) During what time intervals is particle moving to the left?
    When is v(t) negative?

    We have: . 3t^2 - 12t + 9 \:<\:0\quad\Rightarrow\quad (t-1)(t-3) \:<\:0

    And we find that the velocity is negative for: .  1 \:<\:t\:<\:3



    c) What is the total distance traveled by particle from t=0 to t=2 ?
    This could be considered a trick question . . .


    At t=0\!:\;x(0)\;=\;0^3-6\!\cdot\!0^2 + 9\!\cdot\!0 + 11 \;=\;11

    At t=1\!:\;x(1)\;=\;1^3-6\!\cdot\!1^2 + 9\!\cdot\!1 + 11 \;=\;15 . . .
    The particle has moved 4 units to the right.

    At t=2\!:\;x(2)\;=\;2^3-6\!\cdot2^2 + 9\!\cdot\!2 + 11\;=\;3 . . .
    The particle has moved 12 units to the left.


    Therefore, the particle travelled 4 + 12 \:=\:16 units.

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