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Old Apr 20th 2011, 05:00 PM   #1
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Conversion of energy problem

The solutuion to question 12 of http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/vce/studi...ysics22004.pdf is that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy:

1/2 * mv^2 = mgh

but say there were a point Z at the 'corner' of the left curve (so on the same level as X). Surely there was some initial kinetic energy *and* potential energy that got all converted to the kinetic energy at the level where Y is.

xtheunknown0
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 05:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by xtheunknown0 View Post
The solutuion to question 12 of http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/vce/studi...ysics22004.pdf is that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy:

1/2 * mv^2 = mgh

but say there were a point Z at the 'corner' of the left curve (so on the same level as X). Surely there was some initial kinetic energy *and* potential energy that got all converted to the kinetic energy at the level where Y is.

xtheunknown0
I'm not quite sure what you are saying about point Z. If the car is to get to Z, which is on the same level as X then it would have to have been pushed, ie would have to have been given some kinetic energy, as you say. But the ground at point X is (presumably) slightly sloped so the car will start to move down the slope without someone giving it kinetic energy, so we don't need the extra push.

I'm not sure I answered your question. Please let me know.

-Dan
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 07:01 PM   #3
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Once you assume that the whole thing is slightly sloped, then it makes sense.
So thanks!
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