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March 29, 2017

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You are somewhere in the middle of the country and a satellite that is a short distance above San Francisco sends out a pulse that your GPS receiver tells you took 0.002 seconds to reach you. Since you know that the radio signal travels at the speed of light, how far does this mean you are from San Francisco (neglect the distance between San Francisco and the satellite)? Explain your response.

  • science - ,

    Hmmmmm. This question begs for discussion. "Ignore the distance between the satellite and SFran".....does that also mean to ignore the curvature of the Earth, otherwise, the GPS signal cannot be line of sight to the "middle of the country".

    distance=velocitylight*time is probably what your teacher wants you to use.

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