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Physics 1116 Fall 2013 Problem Set 1 Due: Wednesday, September 4th

It is almost always possible these days to nd the answer to a physics problem available somewhere on the web. Here is some good advice: Do your own work and dont look up someone elses answer. If you simply get the answer from a source you lose all of the benet of working the problem yourself. Youll be sorry later... 1. Approximations and Taylor Series. a. Expand the following functions to the rst non-trivial term: f (x) = sin x, cos x, and tan x (ex + ex ), f (x) = 1 2 n f (x) = (1 x) for specic values n = 1, 2, 3, and for arbitrary value n f (x) = 1 x. b. The relativistic Doppler eect shifts the frequency of light when the source and observer are moving with speed v with respect to one another: fobserver = fsource c+v cv c, show that the frequency

For speeds small compared to the speed of light, ie v shift f fobserver fsource is linear in v . 2. Measuring g from trajectory. KK 1.12.

+ 2 3. Vector Algebra. Consider two vectors A = x y + 3 z and B = 4 x 6 y + 3 z. .) Answer the following. = = = k (Note: x i, y j, z (a) Compute A(2A + B). (b) In the plane of vectors spanned by A and B, nd a unit vector perpendicular to A. (How many such unit vectors are there?) (c) Give expressions for the unit vectors |A| and |B|. (d) What is the angle between A and B in radians? in degrees? y z coordinate system, but we are free to use some (e) A and B are dened above in the x other coordinate system. Lets use a dierent orthonormal coordinate system whose basis , v , and w , which are dened as follows: vectors are u = u = v 3 +1 x y 2 8 1 x 8 3 y 4 3 z 8 1 z 8

1 1 x z 2 2 v =u w =v w =0 You may wish to verify that this is indeed an orthonormal basis, ie u u =v v =w w = 1 (thats the normal part). Now, given (thats the ortho part) and u all that, the question is: What are the coordinates of A and B in this new coordinate system? = w

4. One more little vector problem. If you have an xy rectangular coordinate system and vectors A and B with coordinates in this system given by A = (Ax , Ay ) and B = (Bx , By ) prove that the two forms of the dot product A B are equivalent. That is, show that AB cos = Ax Bx + Ay By . (, of course, is the angle between the two vectors.) 5. Distance of closest approach. Consider an arbitrary point in space given by a vector r0 , and an arbitrary direction . We can dene a given by a unit vector n straight line in space, passing through the given point in the given direction, by the for all values of locus of points r = r0 + n a real number . Use vector techniques to answer the following questions. a. What is the distance of closest approach of this line to the origin? b. If a new line is drawn from the origin to the point of closest approach, at what angle do these two lines intersect one another? c. List two possible conditions that, if either is true, the distance of closest approach will be zero. 6. Doing Geometry with Vectors. The tetrahedron shown in the gure has its four vertices located at the following points in some rectangular coordinate system: A B C D = = = = (0, 0, 0) (1, 3, 1) (4, 1, 1) (5, 2, 9)

~ r0 n


Use vector techniques to do this problem!!! The gure is not drawn to scale. a. What is the angle between the edges AD and BD? (i.e., ADB ) b. What is the area of the triangle ACD? c. What is the dihedral angle between the sides ABC and ACD?

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Write-up Problem
7. Retrograde Motion of Planets Mars, as viewed from Earth, occasionally seems to go backward. Visually this means that the position of Mars, viewed against the xed background of distant stars, is usually moving eastward, but sometimes moves westward for a while. Then it resumes its eastward direction. For a very nice animation of this eect, see this youtube video. This strange behavior caused huge problems for astronomy before the heliocentric model of the solar system was accepted. In a heliocentric model, however, it is quite natural as you can see from the youtube video. Lets explore this with vectors. and y axes lying in the Take the origin of our coordinate system to be the sun, with x plane of the Earth and Mars orbits. Assume for simplicity that Mars and Earth both orbit in the same plane and have circular orbits. Characterizing the motion relative axis, is equivalent to viewing against the background of xed stars. to, say, the xed x as a unit vector pointing toward some remote star.) (Think of x Dene the position of Mars and Earth by the vectors RM (t) = RM cos 2 RE (t) = RE t TM t cos 2 TE t TM t + sin 2 x TE + sin 2 x y y

Here we have set t = 0 to be when Mars and Earth are aligned with the sun, and have implicitly introduced the notation RE , RM , TE , and TM for the radii and orbital periods of Earth (E) and Mars (M). Use the fact that the orbital radii are related by RM /RE = 1.5, and that the orbital periods are related by TM /TE = (RM /RE )3/2 . Derive a formula for the direction at which we see Mars from Earth. This should axis. be an angle with respect to the x Plot this angle versus time and observe the apparent backward motion occuring every two Earth-years.

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