Two bodies depart from the same point in the same direction, with uniform rectilinear motion. Knowing that they depart 15 seconds apart, that the first one does it at a speed of 20 m/s and the second one at a speed of 24 m/s, determine at which time they will meet and how far from the origin.



  • Speed of first body: V1 = 20 m/s
  • Speed of second body: V2 = 24 m/s
  • Difference in time of departure between the two bodies ∆t = 15 s

Preliminary considerations

  • Two bodies begin their motion at different times. The time difference between them is 15 s
  • Keep in mind that we can use the sign convention in rectilinear motion that allows us to use scalar magnitudes instead of vectors to describe the motion


The expression that allows us to determine the position of each body as a function of speed and time is:


If t1 is the time that the first body is in motion, then for the first body we get:


t2 is the time the second body is in motion, then for the second body we get:


Both bodies depart from the same point, therefore em>x01 = x02 = 0, but they do so at different times: t2  = t1 - 15 s. Additionally, when they are in the same position x1 = x2, resulting in:

v1·t1=v2·t2v1·t1=v2·(t1-15)v1·t1-v2·t1=-15·v2t1=-15·v2v1-v2=-15·2420-24=90 s 

That is, they meet when the first body has been moving for 90 seconds and the second 90 - 15 = 75 s. To determine where they are when they meet, we simply replace the value of the time into the motion equation of the first body:

x1=x01+v1t1=0+20·90=1800 m

Notice that in this exercise, we have used the same values as in this other, but you are asked different magnitudes. As it can be expected, regardless of the unknown variables, the behavior of a body in u.r.m. should be the same.

Formulas worksheet

These are the main formulas that you must know to solve this exercise. If you are not clear about their meaning, we recommend you to check the theory in the corresponding sections. Furthermore, you will find in them, under the Formulas tab, the codes that will allow you to integrate these equations in external programs like Word or Mathematica.