A sailor climbs to the top of the mast, 12.55 m above the deck, to look for land while his ship...

Question:

A sailor climbs to the top of the mast, 12.55 m above the deck, to look for land while his ship moves steadily forward through calm waters at 4.63 m/s. Unfortunately, he drops his spyglass to the deck below.

Where does it land with respect to the base of the mast below him?

Relative Motion And Inertial Frames Of Reference:

A frame of reference is a coordinate system used to track the motion-related quantities of objects, such as the position, velocity, etc. An inertial frame of reference is that in which Newton's laws are valid. There are no preferred inertial frames of reference. That is the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames. For example, a ball dropped from a height on the ground will move along a straight-line path, downward. A ball dropped from inside a bus moving with constant velocity will traverse a similar straight-line path.

Answer and Explanation:

Given that the ship moves steadily forward through calm waters at a constant velocity of 4.63 m/s.

All objects inside the ship move at the same velocity as the ship, i.e, at 4.63 m/s in the horizontal direction.

The spyglass dropped from the top of the mast by the sailor has a horizontal velocity the same as that of the ship. It, therefore, has no relative horizontal velocity with respect to the interior of the ship. Hence it will drop vertically to the floor and lands exactly at the base of the mast below the sailor.


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Inertial Frame of Reference: Definition & Example

from General Studies Science: Help & Review

Chapter 4 / Lesson 12
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