Mini-Lab 3 : Design Your Own Physics Problem!

Mini-Lab 3 : Design Your Own Physics Problem!

As we get closer to the first exam, it’s time to get serious about problem solving! Remember that 60% (+10% Bonus!) of the first exam will be problems similar to the homework, testing problem solving skills developed throughout the semester. As always, the best way to prepare for this is practice, practice, practice.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Mini-Lab 3 : Design Your Own Physics Problem!
Get an essay WRITTEN FOR YOU, Plagiarism free, and by an EXPERT!
Order Essay

One way to get better at solving problems is to create your own problems to solve. Although this may sound counterintuitive, creating a good physics problem is a creative task in its own right, and as you work through all the parts necessary to develop a well-posed physics problem, you may be able to get a “big-picture” view of how these problems work and are solved.

In this mini-lab, I will ask you to create and solve your own physics problems from the chapters we have covered over the semester. These problems must be :

Well-posed (Have a definite solution).

Unique (Have enough information given to arrive at a single numerical answer).

Solvable using only the material covered in class so far.

Include an image or visual aid if applicable.

Once you’ve created your own problem, you’ll be asked to provide a solution to one of your classmates problems! To aid you in your first time problem creation, I’ve included an example of how this might work below.

Example : Sonic & Tails

Usually creating a good physics problem has several steps.

Pick a real world or imagined scenario which involves a simple type of motion we’ve studied. For my example, I’ve chosen a race between Sonic and Tails.

Decide on what simplifications or assumptions you will need in order to design your problem. This might include answering questions like : Can I treat the objects as particles in describing the motion, or are their sizes and dimensions important? Are the objects accelerating? Is this acceleration constant, or do I want to make it vary? Are the objects moving in a straight line, or along a curved path? For my example, I’ll choose a simple 1D race with Sonic moving at a constant speed, and Tails moving with a constant acceleration.

Write down the relevant physics equations based on the simple model and assumptions you have in mind. For example, with Sonic and Tails moving in a straight line, these would be the 1D kinematic and uniform motion equations for Sonic and Tails :

x s = x 0 s + v 0 s t

x t = x 0 t + v 0 t t + 1 2 a t t 2

v t = v 0 t + a t t

Writing down the equations allows you to work backward and see what variables you will need to specify when you ask the question. For example, with the three equations for the problem above, I can count the number of variables relevant to the problem, in this case 9. This will be important in deciding how many of these you will need to specify when you write your problem. Remember, in order to solve a problem you need to have

# of equations = # of unknowns

Decide which of these variables you are going to ask about, i.e., which are going to be your unknowns. For my example, since I have three equations, I can ask for at most 3 of these, and the rest I will need to specify either directly or indirectly in the problem. For my problem, I’ve decided to ask for the time it takes Tails to catch up to Sonic, assuming Sonic has a head start and is moving with a constant speed. This means I will be asking for the variable t. Remember, you don’t always need to specify every variable in the problem, as some of these can chosen by the student solving the problem. For example, by choosing your axes, you can always specify the initial position of either Sonic or Tails to be zero, but you might need to specify how far away from each other they are.

Check if there are any additional relations or equations given by what you’re asking for. For example, since I’m asking for the time at which they meet, their positions will be equal at this time, giving the further equation
x s = x t
, further reducing the number of possible unknowns.

Put it all together and ask your question! I’ve decided on the following :

“Sonic and Tails race along a straight track towards the finish line. Sonic is initially 25 m ahead of tails, moving with a uniform speed of 100 m/s. Tails, who is moving at 75 m/s, decides to speed up to try and pass Sonic, accelerating uniformly at 5.7 m/s. How long does it take to for Tails to catch up to Sonic?”

Check the number of unknowns. For my problem, assuming the student were to set the initial position of Tails to be zero and given that
x s = x t
when they meet, this leaves 7 possible unknowns. In the problem statement I’ve given four pieces of additional information, leaving (7-4) = 3 unspecified variables, as required.

Most importantly, once you’ve asked your question, see if it makes sense! Try to solve your own question and make sure you’ve given enough information. Think about how you could modify the question and ask for other variables. This will help you on the exam when slight modifications of HW or class problems show up!

Submission Details

To receive full credit for this assignment you will need to :

(10 pts) Reply to the discussion post with your own original problem, satisfying the conditions above. Include any necessary images or supplementary materials!

(10 pts) Reply to one of your classmates posts with your own solution to their created problem. This may be an image file similar to what is submitted on the exams.

The Homework Market
Order NOW For A 10% Discount!
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Choose Us

Top quality papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional academic writers

We have hired a team of professional writers experienced in academic and business writing. Most of them are native speakers and PhD holders able to take care of any assignment you need help with.

Free revisions

If you feel that we missed something, send the order for a free revision. You will have 10 days to send the order for revision after you receive the final paper. You can either do it on your own after signing in to your personal account or by contacting our support.

On-time delivery

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & confidential

We use several checkers to make sure all papers are plagiarism-free and do not share them with third parties.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.

Essays

Essay Writing Service

You are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper. Our academic experts will gladly help you with essays, case studies, research papers and other assignments.

Admissions

Admission help & business writing

You can be positive that we will be here 24/7 to help you get accepted to the Master’s program at the TOP-universities or help you get a well-paid position.

Reviews

Editing your paper

Our academic writers and editors will help you submit a well-structured and organized paper just on time. We will ensure that your final paper is of the highest quality and absolutely free of mistakes.

Reviews

Editing your paper

Our academic writers and editors will help you submit a well-structured and organized paper just on time. We will ensure that your final paper is of the highest quality and absolutely free of mistakes.