Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Victor:

A car was going 90 mph towards 90 foot drop. What would the distance would the car travel, horizontally from the cliff edge?

Hi Victor,

I would first convert 90 miles per hour to feet per second. I got 132 feet per second.

Once the car drives over the cliff edge it fall downward due to gravity and it also continues to travel in the horizontal direction. I think you are to neglect friction caused by the air, hence in the vertical direction the car travels downward under the force of gravity and hits the ground once it has traveled 90 feet. How long does it take to hit the ground?

Meanwhile it is traveling horizontally at 132 feet per second. How far has it traveled horizontally when it hits the ground?


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