A passenger sitting in the rear of a bus claims that she was injured as the driver slammed on the brakes, causing a suitcase to come flying toward her from the front of the bus. If you were the judge in this case, what disposition would you make? Explain.

College Physics

11th Edition
Raymond A. Serway + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305952300

College Physics

11th Edition
Raymond A. Serway + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305952300

Solutions

Chapter
Section
Chapter 4, Problem 1CQ
Textbook Problem

A passenger sitting in the rear of a bus claims that she was injured as the driver slammed on the brakes, causing a suitcase to come flying toward her from the front of the bus. If you were the judge in this case, what disposition would you make? Explain.

Expert Solution
To determine
The direction in which the suit-case flew after the application of brakes.

Answer to Problem 1CQ

On application of brakes, it is impossible for the suit-case to fly backwards since the motion of the bus is forward.

Explanation of Solution

The direction of the suit-case can be found using the concept of inertia. Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist the change in its state of rest or motion.

Initially, the bus is moving forward and the suitcase is at rest. Once the brakes are applied, the direction of motion of the suit-case would be in the forward direction due to its inertia. There is no force to oppose the velocity of the suit-case moving in the forward direction. The only way the suit-case would fly backwards and hit the passenger is when the bus is moving backwards.

Conclusion: On application of brakes, it is impossible for the suit-case to fly backwards since the motion of the bus is forward.

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