Evan's Space

Wonders of Physics

Speed-Time Graph – Motion of 2 Cars and interpreting the graph

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At t = 0s, both cars are at Line 1. Car A is moving at constant speed of 20 m/s, while Car B is moving off from rest with a initial constant acceleration and then maintains at a constant speed of 25 m/s after t = 15s. Line 2 is 500 m away from Line 1.2 cars

a) Sketch the motion of both cars on a speed-time graph.

b) What is the time taken for Car A to reach Line 2?

c) What is the time taken for Car B to reach Line 2?

d) If both cars maintain their constant speeds, Car B will overtake Car A eventually. At what time and distance from Line 1 will Car B overtakes Car A?  

Solutions:

a) To solve such questions, even though graph is not required, it is useful to sketch out the speed-time graph for better visualisation.

b) Whenever given distance travelled by car, it is always good to think of area under the graph.

c) Distance covered is still 500 m, which is the area under the graph.

d) As Car B is travelling with a greater constant speed, eventually it will overtake. But when? Definitely after 15s? Or possible to be before 15s?


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