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Math Help - Word problem concerning Hurricanes, and conservation of angular momentum

  1. #1
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    Word problem concerning Hurricanes, and conservation of angular momentum

    Hello friends, I am a political science major and am absolutely terrible at math. I keep getting dominated weekly on these challenge problems and am seeking help of those better prepared to answer it. I am completely lost this week. Basically, this is the problem.

    You are the captain of a ship. As chance would have it, you encounter a hurricane and this hurricane stands in your direct path to the next port of destination. your cruise ship is designed to withstand seas during 120 knot winds. The weather officer on the ship informs you that the winds outside are 30 knots. From a satellite image and GPS data, you pinpoint your position at 60 nautical miles from the center of the hurricane. you note that the eye of the hurricane hasn't changed position in hours, and that the diameter of the eye is 20 nautical miles. The National Hurricane Center has correctly forecast that the hurricane will not intensify. Can your cruise ship make it through this hurricane without capsizing?

    He also gave us a formula to use Angular momentum- mass x radius x rotational velocity.

    I have no idea how to do this, and could really use some help in a class I'm struggling in.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Word problem concerning Hurricanes, and conservation of angular momentum

    Kind of a strange question! The fact that "this hurricane stands in your direct path to the next port of destination" doesn't mean that you have to follow that direct path. If the hurricane is not moving, just go around it at 60 miles from the eye so that you never have winds greater than 30 knots! But if the captain really insists upon going straight through a hurricane (remind me never to use that cruise line) you can use that formula you give, at radius= 60, then, where the wind speeds will be highest, just before the eye, radius= 20 and set them equal. Both of those involve the unknown mass but it will cancel out.
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