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Math Help - Physics: Ball of Strings

  1. #1
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    Physics: Ball of Strings

    This is less a question of physics and more one of the mathematical minutes, so please bear with me if this is a really dumb question. I am trying to understand an example equation in the textbook that went from [4(2m)^2] / [(4 * 10^-3m)^2] = 2 * 10^6m. It doesn't bother to explain the stages of the simplification, i.e. how it went from the left side to the right side.

    I tried doing [4(2m)^2] / [16(10^-3m)^2] = (4m^2) / [4(10^-6m)] = (1m^2) / (10^-6m) but I'm stuck there. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Physics: Ball of Strings

    If all parentheses are placed correctly, then [4(2m)^2] / [(4 * 10^-3m)^2] = 10^6 (meters cancel), not 2 * 10^6m.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Physics: Ball of Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by matrices View Post
    This is less a question of physics and more one of the mathematical minutes, so please bear with me if this is a really dumb question. I am trying to understand an example equation in the textbook that went from [4(2m)^2] / [(4 * 10^-3m)^2] = 2 * 10^6m. It doesn't bother to explain the stages of the simplification, i.e. how it went from the left side to the right side.

    I tried doing [4(2m)^2] / [16(10^-3m)^2] = (4m^2) / [4(10^-6m)] = (1m^2) / (10^-6m) but I'm stuck there. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    4(2m)^2 = 4 \times 4m^2 = 16m^2 \text{ ... eq1}

    (4 \cdot 10^{-3}m)^2 = 16 \cdot 10^{-6}m^2 \text{  ... eq2}

    \dfrac{eq1}{eq2} = \dfrac{16m^2}{16 \cdot 10^{-6}m^2} = \dfrac{1}{10^{-6}} = 10^6
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  4. #4
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    Re: Physics: Ball of Strings

    Ohh, I'm so sorry, I typed in the wrong equation. I feel absolutely foolish now... Here is the direct scan:



    And here is my feeble attempt: [ 4 (2m)^3 ] / (4 * (10)^-3m)^2 = [ 4 (8m^3) ] / [ 16 (10^-6m^2) ] = (8m^3) / [ 4 (10^-6m^2) ] = (2m^3) / (10^-6m^2) = (2m^3) (10^6m^-2) = 2 * 10^6m

    I am not too certain about the final two steps, did I do it right? Thank you so much for being patient with me!
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  5. #5
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    Re: Physics: Ball of Strings

    Yes, you are right.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Physics: Ball of Strings

    Thank you!
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