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# Solving Word Problems Involving Motion

**Solving Word Problems
Involving Motion**

Among the most challenging applications of linear equations are word problems involving motion problems. The fundamental formula used for this problem is :

d = r t

where d represents distance , r represents rate or velocity or speed and t represents time.

When this formula is used , d and r must use the same unit of distance ( for example miles and miles per hour) and r and t must use the same unit of time (for example miles per hour and hours). If the formula is solved for r and t , we get two additional forms of the formula :

r = d/t or t = d/r.

**Sample Problem Number
One :**

**Suppose that a trip
from the dormitory to the lake at 30 miles per hour takes 12 minutes longer
than the return trip at 48 miles per
hour. How far apart are the dormitory and the lake ?**

Solution :

Units used must be the same; so we use 12 minutes = 12/60 = 1/5hr.

Working equation :

Since the speeds are given in miles per hour the equation is :

d/30 = d/48 + 1/5

Where d is the distance of the trip in miles and each of the fractions represents time in hours, using t = d/r from above.

30 ( d/30 ) = (d/48 + 1/5 ) 30

d = 5d/8 + 6

8d = 5d + 48

8d - 5d = 48

3d = 48

d = 16

The distance between the dormitory and the lake is 16 miles.

Check :

The time to the lake at 30 miles per hour is 16/30 = 32/60 = 32 minutes.

The time from the lake at 48 miles per hour is 16/48 = 1/3 = 20/60 = 20 minutes,

Which is indeed 12 minutes quicker.

**Problem Number Two :**

**Dominic rode his
motorbike 20 minutes to Helen’s home and then the two drove in a car 30 minutes
to a beach 35 miles from Dominic’s home. If the car speed was 10 miles per hour
faster than that of a motorbike, how fast did the car travel ?**

Motorbike car

__________________________l_____________________________

------------------------------------35 miles------------------------------------

Travelling by Motorbike :

Time : 20min/60 = 1/3 hr

Distance : (1/3 ) r since d = r t

Rate or Velocity : r

Travelling by Car :

Time : 30 minutes = 30/60 = 1/2 hr

Distance : ( r + 10) 1 /2

Rate or Velocity : r + 10

Working Equation :

Distance traveled by motorbike + Distance traveled by Car = Total Distance (35miles).

1/3 r + 1/ 2 ( r + 10 ) = 35

6 {1/3 r + 1/ 2 (r + 10 ) = 35}

2r + 3r + 30 = 210

5r = 210 - 30

(1/5) 5r = 180 (1/5)

r = 36 miles per hour = speed of the motorbike

r + 10 = 46 miles per hour = speed of the car

Check :

(1/3) (36) + (1/2) (46) = 35

12 + 23 = 35

35 = 35

**Sample Problem
Number Three :**

**Two students are 350
km apart and begin walking toward one
another at constant rates. One travels
at 1.6 m/ sec and the other at 1.9 m/
sec. How long will they walk until they meet?
How far has each of them gone ?**

A ---------------------------350km ----------------------------B

__________________________________________________________

Travel made by student A ;

Rate : 1.6 m/sec

Distance : d

Time : d/ 1.6 since t = d/r

**Travel made by**
student B:

Rate : 1.9 m/sec

Distance : 350 – d

Time : ( 350 – d)/1.9

Working Equation : The time covered by each student is equal

Time covered by student A = Time covered by student B

d/ 1.6 = ( 350 – d)/ 1.9

1.9 d = 1.6 ( 350 – d)

1.9 d = 560 – 1.6 d

1.9d + 1.6 d = 560

(1/3.5) 3.5 d = 560 (1/3.5)

d = 160 meters = distance covered by A

350 – 160 = 190 = distance covered by B

How long will they walk until they meet ? 160/1.6 = 10 seconds

190/1.9 = 10 seconds

Check : (1.9 ) (10) + (!.6) (10) = 350

190 + 160 = 350

**Sample Problem Number
Four :**

**A bicycle club left
the campus to ride to a park 24 miles away for an outing. Lyn left from the
same place by car with picnic
supplies 1 and a half later, traveled at
a speed four times as fast and arrived at the park at the same time as the
cyclists. How fast did Lyn drive ?**

Travel made by the cyclists

Distance : 24 miles

Time : t + 1.5

Rate : 24/( t + 1.5) since r = d/ t

Travel made by Lyn

Distance : 24 miles

Time : t

Rate : 24/t

Working Equation :

Rate of Lyn = 4 * rate of the cyclists

( t * t + 1.5) ( 24/ t = 4 * 24/( t + 1.5) )

24 (t + 1.5 ) = 96 t

24 t + 36 = 96 t

96 t -24t = 36

(1/72) 72 t = 36 (1/72)

t = 1/2 hour covered by Lyn

1 amd 1/ 2 + 1/ 2 = 2 hours = covered by the cyclists

Rate of Lyn : 24/0 .5.= 48 miles/hour

Check :

d = rt

24 = 48 ( 1/ 2 )

24 = 24

SOURCE :

COLLEGE ALGEBRA By

Rees

Sparks

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