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Open Conversation discussion on Riddle me this..., within the General Discussion; If a train is going South, at 100 miles per hour... and... A fly is flying North,towards the train, at ...


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Old 12-13-2008, 06:57 PM   #1
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Question Riddle me this...

If a train is going South, at 100 miles per hour...

and...

A fly is flying North,towards the train, at 5 miles per hour

and...

The fly splatters on the windshield of the train

At what point is the train reduced to zero miles per hour?

Never, you say? Well consider this.

In order for the Northbound fly to switch from northbound motion to southbound motion, it would have to come to a complete stop before it can begin motion in the opposite direction. Correct?

Well...

If the fly is then going zero miles per hour, and it is in contact with the trains windshield... then by definition, wouldn't the train also be going zero miles per hour, if even for a tiny fraction of a second?

I'm a nerd... I know...

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Old 12-13-2008, 07:05 PM   #2
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In order for the Northbound fly to switch from northbound motion to southbound motion, it would have to come to a complete stop before it can begin motion in the opposite direction. Correct?

Yes

If the fly is then going zero miles per hour, and it is in contact with the trains windshield... then by definition, wouldn't the train also be going zero miles per hour, if even for a tiny fraction of a second

the train never changed direction. Now if the fly were the size of godzilla, then the scenarios would be reversed

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Old 12-14-2008, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Yes... but

If the fly, or any object for that matter, is in contact with something, then don't they possess the same velocity?

I still say that in order for the fly to switch direction, it has to come to a complete stop.

Well, the train is stopping the fly from moving forward, so for a split second, (if the train is in contact with the fly) the train has to be going zero mph.

I've not found someone that can explain this and I go cross-eyed thinking about it...lol
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpsticky View Post
If the fly, or any object for that matter, is in contact with something, then don't they possess the same velocity?

I still say that in order for the fly to switch direction, it has to come to a complete stop.

Well, the train is stopping the fly from moving forward, so for a split second, (if the train is in contact with the fly) the train has to be going zero mph.

I've not found someone that can explain this and I go cross-eyed thinking about it...lol
They do possess the same speed, it just isn't zero. Think of the passengers, they're all travelling at the same speed as the train.

Yes, in order for the fly to switch directions it must reach zero veolcity before it can travel the opposite direction. However the train is continuing in its original direction, its vector remains unchanged and therefore it does not need to decelerate to zero.

If you look at simple conservation of momentum (MassxVelocity)...
Mass of train x Velocity of train + Mass of fly x Velocity of fly = Mass of fly and train x Velocity of fly and train

Initially neither are travelling at zero velocity, and since the mass of the fly and train are not reduced to zero (they dont disappear), the Velocity of the two cannot be zero. Otherwise you would violate the law of conservation of momentum (not to mention conservation of energy as well)

The non mathematical way to think of it...IF the train's velocity was zero for a split second a number of things would happen; it would derail, passengers would be decelerating at a rate close to infinity (acceleration=velocity/time, time is very very small) causing all of their hearts to rip from the aorta (sp, and yes this happens in high impact crashes because of the deceleration), it would take forever to get anywhere since the train would have to accelerate back up to 100km/h about every 5 seconds.

Just something else to help shed some light. If a passenger is walking backwards on the train, does that mean they are walking faster than 100km/h?

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Old 12-15-2008, 03:54 AM   #6
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Thats some mind blowing shit Kane, and it makes sense. Are you some kind of scientist?
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:59 AM   #7
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Is your real name Stephan Hawking's
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:22 AM   #8
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is your real name stephan hawking's
No
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:49 AM   #9
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Kane = Engineer = Genius

Good stuff, Kane. Thanks
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:26 AM   #10
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Kane = Engineer = Genius

Good stuff, Kane. Thanks
The jig is up, I am an engineer. The genius part is very much up for debate

Thank you Anuj.
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