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Posted by on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 2:34pm.

A car traveling at 50 km/h hits a bridge abutment. A passenger in the car moves forward a distance of 74 cm (with respect to the road) while being brought to rest by an inflated air bag. What magnitude of force (assumed constant) acts on the passenger's upper torso, which has a mass of 43 kg?

  • Physics - , Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 2:50pm

    First find the acceleration from
    u = 50km/h = 50*1000/3600 m/s = 13.89 m/s
    to
    v = 0 m/s
    through a distance of
    S = 74 cm = 0.74 m

    v²-u^sup2;=2aS
    a = (v²-u²)/2S
    =-13.89²/(2*0.74)
    = 130.34 m/s² (approx. 13g)

    F=ma
    =43 * 130.34 N
    = 5604.6 N

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