21p. Depth of a well _printable_

21p. Depth of a well _printable_ - Calculating the Depth of...

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1 ©2009 by L. Lagerstrom Calculating the Depth of a Well • For an overview of this example, see the associated video clip • The situation • Deriving an equation for the depth • Using the roots function to find the depth ©2009 by L. Lagerstrom The Situation Imagine that we have found an old well and want to figure out how deep it is. We have a stopwatch, so we decide to drop a rock down the well and time how long it takes until we hear the splash. We need to know if we can find the depth from this information. First, let d = the depth of the well and t = the time until we hear the splash. We know that the rock falls under the influence of gravity and that its initial velocity is 0 (i.e., we don't throw it downward, but just release it at the edge of the well). So the distance traveled by the rock from the top of the well to the water level is: where g = acceleration due to gravity (9.8 m/s 2 ) and t f = the time of fall for the rock. 2 2 1 f gt d = ©2009 by L. Lagerstrom The Situation, cont. We have noted we can calculate the depth of the well by: There's a problem, however. We don't know the time of fall t f . The time we measured on our stopwatch is the time of fall plus the time
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21p. Depth of a well _printable_ - Calculating the Depth of...

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