A lion and a lion tamer are enclosed within a circular cage. If they move at the same speed but are both restricted by the cage, can the lion catch the lion tamer? (Represent the cage by a circle, and the lion and lion tamer as two point masses within it.)
The puzzle asks us to consider the lion and tamer as two point masses.
The tamer heads away from the lion, who pursues.
This lasts until the tamer reaches the wall.
At this time, the tamer travels along the wall at full velocity, while the lion has some component of the velocity toward the wall and another component tracking the tamer, so the lion point will never catch up to the tamer point, as there will always be some tangential velocity component lost to the radial velocity component.
Posted by Charlie
on 2013-06-10 21:20:19