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Fundamentals of Physics by David Halliday, Robert Resnick, Jearl Walker

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Robbie Knievel flew through the air over the Grand Canyon, from one ramp to another, for a record-breaking and astounding motorcycle jump of 68 m. He was, of course, very keen on landing on the second ramp rather than on the canyon floor in some kind of trial-and-error mishap.

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How does a motorcycle jumper determine the necessary takeoff speed?

The answer is in this chapter.

4-1 What Is Physics?

In this chapter we continue looking at the aspect of physics that analyzes motion, but now the motion can be in two or three dimensions. For example, medical researchers and aeronautical engineers might concentrate on the physics of the two- and three-dimensional turns taken by fighter pilots in dogfights. (Which parameters of the motion will cause a pilot to black out?) A sports engineer might focus on the physics of basketball. (When a player is at the free-throw line, how should he launch the ball in order to make a basket?)

Motion in three dimensions is not easy to understand. For example, you are probably good at driving a car along a freeway (one-dimensional motion) but would probably have a difficult time in landing an airplane on a runway (three-dimensional motion) without a lot of training.

In our study of two- and three-dimensional motion, we start with position and displacement. ...

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