Question
Suppose a bat uses sound echoes to locate its insect prey, 3.00 m away. (See Figure 17.11.) (a) Calculate the echo times for temperatures of $5.00^\circ\textrm{C}$ and $35.0^\circ\textrm{C}$ . (b) What percent uncertainty does this cause for the bat in locating the insect? (c) Discuss the significance of this uncertainty and whether it could cause difficulties for the bat. (In practice, the bat continues to use sound as it closes in, eliminating most of any difficulties imposed by this and other effects, such as motion of the prey.)
Question Image Figure 17.11 A bat uses sound echoes to find its way about and to catch prey. The time for the echo to return is directly proportional to the distance.
1. $t_5 = 0.180 \textrm{ s}$, $t_{35} = 0.0171 \textrm{ s}$
2. $5.01\%$
3. A $5\%$ uncertainty could be significant when catching small prey, or when it's important to bite a specific location such as the neck. Good thing the bat continually adjusts trajectory based on continuous use of echolocation while closing in.
Solution Video

# OpenStax College Physics Solution, Chapter 17, Problem 11 (Problems & Exercises) (3:43)   