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In February 1955, a paratrooper fell 370 m from an airplane without being able to open his chute but happened to land in snow, suffering only minor injuries. Assume that his speed at impact was 62 m/s (terminal speed), that his mass (including gear) was 71 kg, and that the magnitude of the force on him from the snow was at the survivable limit of 1.2 x 105 N. What are (a) the minimum depth of snow that would have stopped him safely and (b) the magnitude of the impulse on him from the snow?

  • physics -

    (a): (minimum snow depth)*(maximum survivable force) = kinetic energy at impact = (1/2) M V^2
    e
    (b) Impulse = momentum change = momentum at impact = M V

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