Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Kids in the Back!

An unrestrained child is playing on the front seat of a car that is traveling in a residential neighborhood at 35 km/h. (How many mph is this? Is this car going too fast?) A small dog runs across the road and the driver applies the brakes, stopping the car quickly and missing the dog. Estimate the speed with which the child strikes the dashboard, presuming that the car stops before the child does so. Compare this speed with that of the world-record 100 m dash, which is run in about 10s.

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Page last modified September 30, 2002: D01