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Home > GC > Chapter 5 > Lesson 5.1.3 > Problem 5-27


Mervin and Leela are in bumper cars. They are at opposite ends of a 100 meter track heading toward each other. If Mervin moves at a rate of 5.5 meters per second and Leela moves at a rate of 3.2 meters per second, how long does it take for them to collide? Homework Help ✎

Let p = position (m) and t = time (sec)

Remember Mervin is starting at 0 because he is on the far left. His growth rate is 5.5 m/s to the right.

So the equation for Mervin's position is p = 5.5t + 0, but the 0 is not needed so p = 5.5t is sufficient.

Do the same for Leela. Remember that her growth is negative and her starting position is different

Since Mervin and Leela will meet in the same position, set Mervin's position = Leela's position. This is like solving a system of equations using the equal values method.