A 1.7 kg otter starts from rest at the top of a muddy incline 98.6 cm long and slides down to the bottom in 0.5 s. What net external force acts on the otter along the incline?

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justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An otter that is at rest slides down a muddy incline 98.6 cm long. The time taken is 0.5 seconds. The mass of the otter is 1.7 kg.

The acceleration of a body with a mass m on which the force F acts is given by a = F/m m/s^2. The distance moved by a body with an initial velocity u that is accelerating at an acceleration a in t seconds is given by D = u*t + (1/2)*a*t^2.

Here, the otter travels a distance 98.6 cm in 0.5 seconds. The initial velocity is 0. Substituting the given values we get:

0.986 = (1/2)*a*(0.5)^2

=> a = 7.888 m/s^2

To accelerate the otter by this magnitude the force required is 7.888*1.7 = 13.4096 N.

The net force acting on the otter that results in the given motion is 13.4096 N.