Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics (4th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0133942651
ISBN 13: 978-0-13394-265-1

Chapter 2 - Kinematics in One Dimension - Exercises and Problems: 50

Answer

The initial separation distance was 20 meters.

Work Step by Step

Let $v$ be the constant speed of the two cars. During car 1's braking period, car 1's average speed is $\frac{v}{2}$, while car 2's average speed at that time is $v$. Since car 1 moves 10 meters in that time, car 2 moves 20 meters. Car 2 then applies the brakes and moves 10 meters during the braking period. Car 1 moves a total distance of 10 meters while car 2 moves a total distance of 30 meters. Therefore, the initial separation distance was 20 meters.
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