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Algebra in Motion

Mostly, we just want to see the collisions!

A preview of "Algebra in Motion" Join Brilliant Premium

Algebra is the backbone and the language for much of physics. These quizzes will explore topics such as:

  • Colliding Trains
  • Runners on Tracks
  • Boats in Currents
  • Ballistics (Bullets)
  • Rockets

Have you heard of this puzzle before? There is a lightning-fast shortcut for cutting directly to an answer!


Two trains, each traveling at a speed of \(\SI[per-mode=symbol]{50}{\kilo\meter\per\hour},\) are headed towards each other on the same track. At the exact moment the trains are \(\SI{100}{km}\) apart, a fly on the front of one train begins flying back and forth between the two trains at a speed of \(\SI{75}{km/h}.\)

What is the total distance the fly will have traveled before getting crushed between the trains?

These quizzes will also introduce quadratic equations. We'll apply them to the study of ballistics and, relatedly, to the mechanics of launching rockets.

Master the problem solving skills of Algebra Through Puzzles.

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