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Help with Physics4U Problem

A photo of Beejeong Beejeong
Relative Motion

A ball is tossed upwards in the air by a passenger on a train moving with a constant velocity. Describe the path of the ball as seen by the passenger. Describe its path as seen by a stationary observer outside the train.
How would these observations change if the train were acceleration along the track?
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6 replies
 
A photo of Muirhead11 Muirhead11
Assuming air friction is neglected, this would be the different perspectives:

Constant Motion

Passenger- The ball would look as if it was thrown straight up, and would fall straight back down.

Stationary Observer- The passenger would see that ball approaching at the speed the train was moving.

Accelerating

Passenger- would see the ball fly behind him.

Observer- Ball would approach at the same speed of the train at the instant it was released

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A photo of Beejeong Beejeong
What if the observer was looking perpendicular to the direction of the train?

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A photo of steele steele
If the outisde observer was perpendicular to the train, he would see the ball flying in an arc in both cases. In the first case, the speed of the ball in the arc would equal the speed of the train. In the second, the speed of the ball in the arc would equal the speed of the train at the moment the ball was released.
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A photo of Muirhead11 Muirhead11
Damn just noticed you got into Mac already, I'm still waiting... is physics not your best subject or something?
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A photo of Beejeong Beejeong
haha yeah, I applied like.. days before their deadline too.
I'm probably not going there though.

I like physics, but it's just the "Explain", "Describe" questions that get at me harrrd.
Thanks for your help.
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A photo of aaku516 aaku516
To the passenger in a train travelling at constant velocity, it appears to go up straight and fall straight down, just like it would if you were standing anywhere on a stationary surface. To someone standing outside, the ball would look like it was in a projectile trajectory (an arc)

When the train accelerates, everything changes. The ball will appear to have been in a projectile trajectory even to the passenger.
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