Good ideas that don't work so well

Classical Mechanics Level 2

A very icy man who likes to travel decides that he wants to travel around the country in style. He buys a train to do his traveling on and gives it all sorts of neat cars - one car has a pool, one has a movie theatre, etc. His pride and joy is the ice rink car, a 30 meter long train car with the floor covered in ice so he can ice skate. Our icy guy is standing in the middle of his ice rink car, thinking what an icy guy he is, when his train begins to accelerate at \(2~m/s^2\). How long does it take before our icy guy slides smack into the back of the train car?

Moral of the story: unlike laws made by people, the laws of physics apply equally to everyone, even people who love broom ball.

Details and assumptions

  • The static and kinetic coefficients of friction between the ice guy's shoes and the ice is 0.1.
  • The acceleration of gravity is \(-9.8~m/s^2\).

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