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Round the Moon | Jules Verne | |
A LITTLE ALGEBRA |
Page 3 of 4 |
"And you pretend, Nicholl," asked Michel, "that by means of these hieroglyphics, more incomprehensible than the Egyptian Ibis, you can find what initiatory speed it was necessary to give the projectile?" "Incontestably," replied Nicholl; "and even by this same formula I can always tell you its speed at any point of its transit." "On your word?" "On my word." "Then you are as cunning as our president." "No, Michel; the difficult part is what Barbicane has done; that is, to get an equation which shall satisfy all the conditions of the problem. The remainder is only a question of arithmetic, requiring merely the knowledge of the four rules." "That is something!" replied Michel Ardan, who for his life could not do addition right, and who defined the rule as a Chinese puzzle, which allowed one to obtain all sorts of totals. "The expression v zero, which you see in that equation, is the speed which the projectile will have on leaving the atmosphere." "Just so," said Nicholl; "it is from that point that we must calculate the velocity, since we know already that the velocity at departure was exactly one and a half times more than on leaving the atmosphere." "I understand no more," said Michel. "It is a very simple calculation," said Barbicane. "Not as simple as I am," retorted Michel. "That means, that when our projectile reached the limits of the terrestrial atmosphere it had already lost one-third of its initiatory speed." "As much as that?" "Yes, my friend; merely by friction against the atmospheric strata. You understand that the faster it goes the more resistance it meets with from the air." |
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Round the Moon Jules Verne |
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