College Physics Problem 2.9

On May 26, 1934, a streamlined, stainless steel diesel train called the Zephyr set the world’s nonstop long-distance speed record for trains. Its run from Denver to Chicago took 13 hours, 4 minutes, 58 seconds, and was witnessed by more than a million people along the route. The total distance traveled was 1633.8 km. What was its average speed in km/h and m/s?

SOLUTION:

The total time of travel is converted to seconds.

 t=\left(13\:h\:\times \frac{3600\:s}{1\:hr}\right)+\left(4\:min\:\times \frac{60\:s}{1\:min}\right)+58\:s

t=47098\ seconds

The total time of travel in hours

 t=47098\:s\:\times \frac{1\:h}{3600\:s}=13.0828\:hours

Therefore, the average speed in km/hr is

average\:speed\:in\:\frac{km}{hr}=\frac{distance\:traveled}{time}=\frac{1633.8\:km}{13.0828\:h}=124.88\:\frac{km}{hr}

And the average speed in m/s is

average\:speed\:in\:\frac{m}{s}=\frac{1633800\:m}{47098\:s}=34.689\:\frac{m}{s}

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