Physics

A disgruntled physics student sees the front end of his teacher's car below him at the base of a building. If the student is 5.0 m high above the car which is 3.0 m long and traveling only 3m/s to the right, will the apple of the student hit the teacher's car? What is the initial velocity and direction of the apple?

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asked by VAN
  1. We will assume the student was located at a point perpendicular to the direction of motion of the car.
    We will restrict the answer to throwing the apple in a plane perpendicular to the motion of the car, thus a two-dimentional problem.
    The apple has to hit somewhere on the car within the time the car is immediately facing the student, thus
    t≤3m/(3m/s)=1 sec.

    It is not clear if the student is right above the car because there is no lateral distance given, but question asks for direction.

    Assuming student is right on top of the passing car, so the direction would be either up or down. Preferably down because there is only one second to hit it.

    For a velocity u, through height h, and all measurements are positive upwards, we have
    h ≥ ut+(1/2)(-9.8)t²
    with t=1, the equation becomes
    -5≥u(1)-(1/2)9.8(1²)
    Solving for u gives u≤-0.1 m/s

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