Q. 254.5( 19 Votes )

A man walking briskly in rain with speed v must slant his umbrella forward making an angle θ with the vertical. A student derives the following relation between θ and v: tan θ = v and checks that the relation has a correct limit: as v 0, θ 0, as expected. (We are assuming there is no strong wind and that the rain falls vertically for a stationary man). Do you think this relation can be correct? If not, guess the correct relation.

Answer :

Dimensions of tan θ = M0L0T0


( All trigonometric functions have no units)


Dimensions for v (velocity) = M0L1T-1


The equation, tan θ = v is Dimensionally incorrect.


To balance the equation,


Let the speed of the rainfall be V, then we can make R.H.S dimensionless by dividing with V.


tan θ =


( velocity dimension = M0L1T-1 always)


Now, the equation is dimensionally balanced and correct.


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