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Homework 1

Quinn Ngo
August 30, 2016
Problem 1. A car is stopped at a traffic light. It then travels along a straight road so that its distance from
the light is given by x(t) = bt2 ct3 , where b = 2.40 m/s2 and c = 0.120 m/s3 .
a) Calculate the average velocity of the car for the time interval t = 0 s to t = 10.0 s. The average
velocity (in meters/second) of the car over the time interval t = 0 s to t = 10.0 s is given by
x(10) x(0)
[b(10)2 c(10)3 ] [b(0)2 c(0)3 ]
=
= 10b 100c = 10(2.40) 100(.120) = 12.
10 0
10
Thus the average velocity of the car over the given time interval is 12 m/s.
b) Calculate the instantaneous velocity of the car at the given time. The instantaneous velocity of the
car at any time is given by the derivative of the position function, which is
x0 (t) = 2bt 3ct2 .
i. Find the instantaneous velocity of the car at t = 0 seconds.
x0 (0) = 2b(0) 3c(0)2 = 0.
The instantaneous velocity of the car at 0 seconds is 0 meters/second.
ii. Find the instantaneous velocity of the car at t = 5 seconds.
x0 (5) = 2b(5) 3c(5)2 = 10b 75c = 10(2.40) 75(.120) = 15.
The instantaneous velocity of the car at 5 seconds is 15 meters/second.
iii. Find the instantaneous velocity of the car at t = 10 seconds.
x0 (10) = 2b(10) 3c(10)2 = 20b 300c = 20(2.40) 300(.120) = 12.
The instantaneous velocity of the car at 5 seconds is 12 meters/second.
c) Repeat parts (a) and (b) but for the acceleration. That is, find the average acceleration and the
instantaneous acceleration for the times in parts (a) and (b).
The average acceleration (in meters/seconds2 ) of the car over the time interval t = 0 s to t = 10.0 s is
given by
x0 (10) x0 (0)
12 0
=
= 1.20.
10 0
10
Thus the average acceleration of the car over the given time interval is 1.2 m/s2 .
The instantaneous acceleration of the car at any time is given by the derivative of the velocity function,
which is
x00 (t) = 2b 6ct.

The instantaneous accelerations at times t = 0, t = 5, and t = 10 are given by x00 (0), x00 (5), and x00 (10)
respectively.
x00 (0) = 2b 6c(0) = 2(2.40) = 4.80
x00 (5) = 2b 6c(5) = 2(2.40) 30(.120) = 4.80 3.60 = 1.20
x00 (10) = 2b 6c(10) = 2(2.40) 60(.120) = 4.80 7.20 = 2.40
Hence the instantaneous accelerations at times t = 0, t = 5, and t = 10 are 4.80 m/s2 , 1.20 m/s2 , and
2.40 m/s2 respectively.
d) How long after starting from rest is the car again at rest?
The car is at rest when its instantaneous velocity is equal to 0 m/s. So, we set the velocity equation
x0 (t) equal to 0 in order to determine these times. We have
x0 (t) = 2bt 3ct2 = t(2b 3ct) = 0,
so the car is at rest when
t = 0 seconds

or

t=

2b
= 13.3 seconds.
3c

So, the car is at rest 13.3 seconds after starting.

Problem 2. How many hairs do you have on your head?
Assume that:
The diameter of a hair follicle is 1/1000 in.
The area of the human head that is covered with hair is 100 in2 .
There is 3/125 in of space between two consecutive hair follicles.
Using this information, we will determine approximately how many hairs are in one square inch of the
human head. In order to do this, we will first determine how many hairs can fit in a line of the length one
inch.
1 inch diameter of follicle 3 inch of space
1 inch
+
=
1000 inches
125 inches
25 hairs
We can use this information to determine that amount of hairs on one square inch of the head, and by
extension, on the entire head.
Since there are 25 hairs per inch, we have
252 hairs
inch2
Thus we arrive the conclusion


252 hairs
inch2



100 inches2


=

62500 hairs

Problem 3. A spherical shell has an outside radius of 3.50 cm and an inside radius of a. The shell wall
has uniform thickness and is made of a material with density 6.30 g/cm3 . The space inside the shell is filled
with a liquid having a density of 2.42 g/cm3 .
a) Find the mass m of the sphere, including its contents, as a function of a.
Let ms and mi denote the masses of the spherical shell and its filling, respectively. Then
m(a) = ms (a) + mi (a).
Let s and i denote the respective densities of the parts of the sphere, and let Vs and Vi denote their
volumes. Then we have
m(a) = s Vs (a) + i Vi (a).
2

Recall that the volume of a sphere is given by V =

Vi =

4 3
r . Hence
3

4 3
a .
3

Note that Vs can be expressed as the difference of the volumes of two spheres, the larger one of radius
3.50 and the smaller one of radius r. Hence
Vs =

4/3 3
4
(3.5)3
a .
3

So, substituting these values into our equation, we obtain the formula




4
4 3
4 3
3
(3.5) a + 2.42
a
m(a) = 6.30
3
3
3
b) For what value of the variable a does m have its maximum passible value?
Since m(a) is differentiable everywhere and defined for 0 a 3.5, its maximum possible value occurs
either when m(a) = 0, m(a) = 3.5, or m0 (a) = 0. So, we will find the values of a for which m0 (a) = 0.
The derivative of m(a) is
m0 (a) = 6.30(4a2 ) + 2.42(4a2 )




4
4
(3.5)3 and m(3.5) = 2.42
(3.5)3 .
so m0 (a) = 0 only when a = 0. We have m(0) = 6.30
3
3
Since m(0) > m(3.5), the maximum value of m occurs at a = 0.
c) What is the maximum mass?
The maximum mass is


m(0) = 6.30

4
(3.5)3
3


1131 grams.

d) Explain whether the value from part (c) agrees with the result of a direct calculation of the mass of a
solid sphere of uniform density made of the same material as the shell.
The value from part (c) agrees precisely with the result of a direct calculation of the mass of a solid
sphere of uniform density made of the same material as the shell. This is because the sphere is in fact
of uniform density when a = 0, as there is space inside of the spherical shell.
e) Would the answer to part (a) change if the inner wall were not concentric with the outer wall?
No. The mass of the sphere, including its contents, was dependent on the volumes and densities of
the large and small spheres. The volumes depended on the radii of these spheres. None of these
values depend on the spheres being concentric.
Problem 4. Basil leaves her house and walks 200 m due east. She then walks 100 m north, at which point
she turns left so that she is facing 35 west of north, and walks another 40 m. What is her displacement
from her house? Give both the magnitude and direction!
denotes the unit
We will represent Basils travel will vectors in the Cartesian coordinate system where x
denotes the unit vector to the north.
vector to the east and y
200 meters east: 200
x
100 meters north: 100
y
35 degrees west of north: 40 cos(125 )
x + 40 sin(125 )
y
Basils displacement vector is the sum of these three vectors, which is
(200 + 40 cos(125 ))
x + (100 + 40 sin(125 ))
y.
3

The magnitude of this vector is

p
(200 + 40 cos(125 ))2 + (100 + 40 sin(125 ))2 221.3.
For the direction of this vector, we consider the fact that
tan =

100 + 40 sin(125 )
,
200 + 40 cos(125 )

where is the angle measured from the positive x axis to Basils displacement vector.
Since both components of Basils displacement vector are positive, we have 0 90 . Thus
36.86 .
So, the magnitude of Basils displacement is approximately 221.3, and its direction was 9036.86 = 53.14
degrees east of north.
Problem 5. Using dimensional analysis, construct a constant, with units of length only, out of all three
of the following fundamental constants of Nature: h, G, and c. Here, h is Plancks constant, which has
dimensions of [M ][L]2 [T ]1 , G is Newtons gravitational constant, which is dimensions of [M ]1 [L]3 [T ]2 ,
and c is the speed of light, with dimensions [L][T ]1 .
Our solution will have the form hx Gy cz . Since we need the dimensions of our constant to have only units
of length, we have
[L] = ([M ][L]2 [T ]1 )x ([M ]1 [L]3 [T ]2 )y ([L][T ]1 )z
[M ]0 [L]1 [T ]0 = [M ]xy [L]2x+3y+z [T ]x2yz
Hence we obtain the three equations
xy =0

(1)

2x + 3y + z = 1

(2)

x 2y z = 0

(3)

From equation (1), we have x = y. By substituting x for y in each of the other equations, we obtain the
system
5x + z = 1

(4)

3x z = 0

(5)

Adding equations (4) and (5) together yields 2x = 1, or equivalently, x = 1/2. Since x = y, we have
y = 1/2. From equation (3), we have z = x 2y = 3/2. Hence our constant is
h1/2 G1/2 c3/2 ,
or equivalently,
r

hG
.
c3

Problem 6. Consider the vector A shown in the figure above, with magnitude given by A = 10, that makes
an angle of = 25 with the x-axis.
a) Find a vector B such that A + B = 0. What is the magnitude of B? Carefully sketch B, making sure
they are proportional.
+ 10 sin 25 y
. Let B = x1 x
+ y1 y
. We have A + B = 0. This gives us the
Note that A = 10 cos 25 x
equation
+ 10 sin 25 y
+ x1 x
+ y1 y
=0
10 cos 25 x
Thus x1 = 10 cos 25 and y1 = 10 sin 25 . Hence
10 sin 25 y
.
B = 10 cos 25 x
The magnitude of B is given by
p
(10 cos 25 )2 + (10 sin 25 )2 = 10.
such that A u
= 0.
b) Find a unit vector u
. Since A u
= 0, we know that the
Let be the counterclockwise angle from the positive x-axis to u
is equal to 90 (or equivalently, 270 ). Then must be of the form 115 +180 k
angle between A and u
where k is an integer. Choose = 115 . Then
= |
+ |
= cos 115 x
+ sin 115 y
.422
u
u| cos 115 x
u| sin 115 y
x + .906
y.
c) Let V = 5
x 7
y. Compute A V and V A. Does your answer make sense?
A V = (70 cos 25 50 sin 25 )
z = 84.6
z
V A = (70 cos 25 + 50 sin 25 )
z = 84.6
z
The directions of the vectors make sense, as they are perpendicular to the xy-plane.