Problem Solving Steps

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Problem Solving Steps for using Equations of Motion
Follow these steps in solving the problems:
1. Draw a sketch: Show the object of interest at the beginning and end of the
interval. Assign a + direction with a black + arrow. Attach and label all the
relevant parameters (color code ‘em!): Δx vo vf a Δt
+
Partial example:
vo
2. If the acceleration is constant, identify the don’t know/don’t care variable
and select the equation of motion that goes with it. (If the acceleration not
constant, abort the mission!)
3. Solve the equation algebraically first.
4. Finally, plug in the numbers, round to the correct number of sig figs, and
check the units.
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