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Physics and Measurement

Assignment 1 : Vectors, Mechanics and Waves
Year : 2016-17
Total Points : 100
Submission : Bring your answers written/printed on paper to the class on 23rd SEP.
All the sheets should be properly ordered and pinned to submit for peer
Evaluation : The answers will be peer-evaluated and counted for bonus points. After
peer evaluation, submit the corrected answer sheets to the teacher for
entering points on the blackboard.
Contact : Murali Ghatkesar ( or Luigi Sasso

Problem 1: Basic Mathematics (30 points)

Complex Numbers
a) (2 points) Prove that ii is a real number
b) (2 points) Prove that !" + 1 = 0
c) (4 points) Show that the conjugate complex of = !" is given by = !!" by making
use of the representation of the exponential function as a power series
! ! !
exp = = = 1 + + + +
! 2! 3!

Vector Algebra
d) (2 points) Express the projection of on in-terms of
unit vector of .

e) (5 points) Use the scalar product method to find the angle
made by a longest diagonal of a cube with
1. An edge of the cube
2. A face diagonal
3. Another longest diagonal

f) (5 points) In the figure on the right, there are two planes A and B flying with time. The
vector positions of both planes are given as

! x $ !1 $ ! x $ !5 $
!!!" # & # & !!!" # & # &
OA = # y & = #5 & km OB = # y & = #5& km
#" z &% #"0.8&% #" z &% #"4&%

What is the distance between the two planes?
Assume that the plane B is changing its motion only in the y-direction and plane A is
taking off and moving in all x, y, and z directions with time t. Assume both of them
moving at a speed of 10 km/min. Write down the vector line equation describing this
situation for both planes A and B. What are their positions after 2 min and 5 min?

g) (5 points) Show that = 1, = + 2 + and = 2 + are mutually
h) (5 points) Given the field , , = ! + ! + ! , use the divergence theorem
to compute its flux through a unit cube with one of its vertex at the origin.

Problem 2: Mechanics (30 points)

Newtons Laws
a) (3 points) How much mass does an object need to have before it attracts a human
(assume 70 kg) with a force of 1 Newton when separated by 1 km?

Conservation of momentum; Conservation of Energy
b) Consider a rocket in outer space (i.e. no gravity and no friction). The rockets
propulsion is delivered by burning propellant and exhausting the fume gasses.

The initial mass of the rocket plus the propellant is called M and the initial mass of the
propellant is called m. The velocity of the rocket is denoted by vR, while ve symbolizes
the velocity of the exhaust gasses relative to the rocket. The amount of chemical energy
stored in the propellant is q [J/kg].

1. (6 points) Assume the rocket is initially at rest (v = 0).
Derive an expression for the end velocity of the rocket after
all the propellant has been used. Your expression should only vR
contain q, M and m.

2. (6 points) Consider now the same rocket, but starting its
journey from the Earths surface. (i.e. do include gravity but
still ignore friction). The rocket is launched perpendicular to
the Earths surface. Show that the system can be described by
the following differential equation:
d r 1 F dm
= M Earth 2 prop where Fprop = vexhaust
dt r m dt ve

3. (10 points) Now, you have built your own rocket. Since
your rocket will not reach astonishing heights, you can assume the gravity field to be
constant (g = 9.81 m/s2). You stuff your 50 gram rocket with another 50 gram
gunpowder (q = 2.7104 J/kg). Unfortunately, your rocket motor has an efficiency of
only 10 %. Your motor has a constant burning rate b of 25 gram/s. Compute the final
height of your rocket. (assume the trajectory is vertical).


c) (5 points) As observed on earth, a certain type of bacterium is known to double in
number every 24.0 hours. Two cultures of these bacteria are prepared, each consisting
initially of one bacterium. One culture is left on earth and the other placed on a rocket
that travels at a speed of 0. 866c relative to the earth. At a time when the earthbound
culture has grown to 256 bacteria, how many bacteria are in the culture on the rocket,
according to an earth-based observer?


Problem 3: Waves (40 points)

Simple Harmonic Motion:

a) (10 points) Plot velocity with respect to the position in a mass-spring simple harmonic
motion system for a given amplitude A and angular frequency . Identify the direction of
velocity and acceleration at the either end positions and the equilibrium position in one

b) (4 points) Two oscillating systems has been setup: a simple pendulum and a block
hanging from a vertical spring. The length of the pendulum is carefully adjusted so that
both oscillators have the same period. Now take the two oscillators to the Moon. A) Will
they have same period as each other? B) What happens to the period if the two oscillators
are put inside the International Space Station (ISS)?

Coupled Oscillators:

c) (16 points) Two objects A and B are connected with springs as shown below. Their
respective masses and spring constants are given in the figure.

1) (2 points) If ! = , What are the normal mode frequencies of the system?
2) (3 points) If = 0, what are the normal mode frequencies of the system?
3) (2 points) If ! = 0, what are the normal mode frequencies of the system?
4) (4 points) For the general situation, write down the coupled equations of motion
5) (5 points) Assume ! = and ! = for the general situation. Find
the normal mode frequencies.

Doppler Effect:

d) (10 points) A car, which is driving with velocity towards the observer, is briefly
honking. The sound wave reaches the observer both directly and indirectly via
reflection from a wall behind the car. The wall is at a distance = 80 m from the
observer. The wall is perpendicular to the shortest path from the wall to the observer.
The car is driving on this path as well.
1) (2 points) Explain whether the frequency ! of the sound, which arrives first at
the observers site, is higher, equal or lower than the frequency !! of the
reflected signal, which arrives with a delay t. Make use of a sketch in your

For the next questions, take the following values:
! = 315 Hz, !! = 286 Hz and velocity of sound = 331 m/s, t = 0.29 s.
2) (3 points) Sketch a top-view of the situation. Give an analytical expression for
the distance between the car and the observer at the moment that the car
honked. Also, based on the delay t and the distance , compute this value.

3) (5 points) Compute the velocity of the car and the original frequency ! of the