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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Confusing Question

Ok, so I was thinking the other day and I came up with this question: Does it take the same distance for every car to get to 60 mph. I know it sounds stupid but when you think about it, say you have a corvette and a geo. A corvette can get to 60 in the 3-4's and a geo probably in like the 1-2 minutes. But, since the corvette gets there faster, because the wheels are spinning faster, it would go farther. A geo would take a llong time but it is going slower than the corvette the whole time so it would cover less distance. So, with the corvette going to 60 in 4 seconds, in that 4 seconds, the tires are spinning fast so it goes farther each second than the geo. The geo takes like 11 seconds but is going slower at first so it does not cover as much ground...


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:15 PM
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Re: Confusing Question

Think of it this way.....supercars can achieve 110+ mph in the spance of 1/4 mile, while lesser cars can only achieve 80 - 90 mph within the same length of tarmac.* Does that help you visualize?* A Vette can be to 60mph more quickly, using less space than a 4-cylinder econo car, much like a Lear jet uses less runway to achieve V2 (rotation speed) than a 747 does (although I realize a 747's V2 speed is much higher, the lear acheives that speed using less distance than the jumbo jet does).* Hopefully I didn't make it even muddier for you.
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:18 PM
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Re: Confusing Question

No, the distance isn't the same.

Think of it this way. Take two people. Have one person run for 10 minutes, and the other person walk for 10 minutes. which one will go further?

The obvious answer is the running person will cover more ground in that 10 minutes than a person going slower. It's basically looking at your question from the other side... that being a fixed time vs. a fixed speed. Does that make sense?


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Confusing Question

Yea, that helps a little bit but I'm still a little confused, lol.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:25 PM
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Re: Confusing Question

I think the exponential effect of time / distance may be the source of your confusion. It is true that the faster you accelerate, the quicker you run out of a fixed amount of distance, making it exponentially harder to improve the distance covered / time equation. This is why supercars have to be so much more powerful than the normal car...they are running through their 1/4 mile of distance more quickly because they've accelerated more quickly and achieved a higher speed, naturally running out of road more quickly.
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Confusing Question

Ok, but what I am trying to say is the amount of distance it takes to get to a certain speed. Not amount of time it takes to get to a cerctain distance...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:39 PM
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Re: Confusing Question

Ok....the more torque your engine has and the better grip you get, the shorter the distance it'll require to achieve 60 mph.
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:40 PM
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Re: Confusing Question

d = .5at²
v = at

To get to vc at an acceleration of a1, it would take t1. Thus the distance taken is .5a1t1².

To get to vc at an acceleration of a2, where a2 < a1, it would take t2. Since vc is constant, t2 > t1. Thus the distance is .5a2t2².

Since a1t1=a2t2=vc, we see that for car1, the distance is .5vc*t1. For car2, it's .5vc*t2. And since t2>t1, the distance travelled by the lower torque car is greater to reach a certain velocity, vc.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Confusing Question

ok thanks for the info
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:59 PM
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Re: Confusing Question

[quote author=Mazda3luver link=topic=50783.msg805833#msg805833 date=1152210459]
Ok, but what I am trying to say is the amount of distance it takes to get to a certain speed. Not amount of time it takes to get to a cerctain distance...
[/quote]

if it took the same distance to reach a given speed, all cars would have identical speeds in the 1/4 mile even though their times varied.
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