# High-school level physics question?

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You are driving home from school steadily at 95 km/h for 130 km. It then begins to reain and you slow to 65 km/h. You arrive home after driving 3 hours and 20 minutes.

a. How far is your hometown from school?

b. what was your average speed?

any advice is appreciated! thanks in advance!

• First. (130km) / (95km/h) = 1.37h

(first part of the trip) 1.37h x 95 km/h = 130km ( this double checks it)

(make sure you change 3 hr 20 to 3.34 to match units up)

3.34h – 1.37h = 1.97h

1.97h x 65 km/h = 128km

A) total distance 130km + 128 = 258km (2.6km x10^2)

B) 260/3.34h = 78km/h

(watch your sig figs)

• Ed Witten, who is regarded by many as being the most brilliant physics mind since Einstein, was once asked what was the most important advance in science ever? His answer “calculus.” Math, any math, is just a type of language. Each kind (calculus, linear algebra, tensors, etc.) has its strengths and weaknesses. But when the right kind is used for the job, whatever that job might be, math can and does make communicating precise and accurate concepts, like physics demands, easier. So, yes, learning calculus will help in high school level physics class, tests, and competitions. And later, at the university, learning tensors, vector analysis, probability and statistics, group theory, partial differential equations, and other types of math will help in learning physics as well.

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