Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Racing model cars

The position (in meters) as a function of time of four model racecars moving smoothly along long parallel paths is given in the table at the right. The data is from the middle portion of a race. Assume that the racecars moved smoothly between the times listed.

t = 5 sec t = 6 sec t = 7 sec t = 8 sec t = 9 sec t = 10 sec
red 5 7 11 17 25 35
yellow 28 39 50 61 72 83
blue 43 5261 70 79 88
green 13 16 20 25 31 38

(a) Which of the racecars, if any, moved with constant speed between t=5 sec and t=10 sec? Explain your reasoning.

(b) Which of the racecars had the largest velocity at t=8 sec? Explain how you can tell.

(c) What was the acceleration of the green racecar at t=8 sec? Explain how you arrived at your answer.

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Page last modified September 6, 2004