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Four persons K, L , M, N are initially at the four corners of a square of side d Problem

Four persons K, L , M, N are initially at the four corners of a square of side ‘d’. Each person now starts moving with a uniform speed ‘v’ in such a way that K always moves directly towards L, L towards M, M towards N and N towards K. After what time will they meet?

Gayathri asked.

Answer: Many students do not understand the real situation initially. Every time the persons are approaching each other and hence they will be moving closer and closer as they continue their walking. Finally they’ll reach the centre of the square to meet each other. I’ve tried to visualize the situation below.

From the diagram, we can make out that the resultant displacement by each when they meet will be d/√2 and the component of velocity of each towards the final point (the centre of the square) is v/√2.

Therefore,the time taken = displacement by the component of velocity in its direction = (d/√2) / (v/√2) = d/v

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