Let $\theta$ be the angle between the laser and the horizontal line which is at a 90 degree angle at the wall(see drawing). The laser point moves at a pace of 1cm/sec vertically on the wall between 45 degrees, and -45 degrees(-45 when the laser pointer is under the horizontal line). The laser is located 500 cm from the wall.
a) Find an expression for $\theta(t)$ for how $\theta$ measured in degrees must change with respect to time.
b) At the start, the laser moves from $\theta$ = -45 degrees, and moves to 45 degrees by the end. How long does it take for the laser to move from -45 degrees to 45 degrees?
c) what is the angle-velocity of $\theta'(t)$ ? Measured in degrees.
d) What is the angle-velocity when the laser pointer passes the midpoint of the wall?
Ok, so far I've drawn the problem, and dx/dt is 1cm/s, correct?
I'm having trouble solving a), but I think I have b) solved:
b) = tan 45 * 500 = 1 * 500 = 500. So x is 500cm long between 0 degrees and 45 degrees. Taking it from -45 to 45 means 500*2 = 1000cm, correct? This means the laser should use 1000 seconds, or 16 minutes and 40 seconds to go from -45 degrees to 45 degrees.
c) Now I guess I have to find $d\theta/dt$?
Am I on the right track, or have I misunderstood?
So finding $d\theta/dt$, I tried:
tan$\theta$ = x/500
sec^2$\theta$*$d\theta/dt$ = 1/500 * dx/dt
$d\theta/dt$ = 1/500 * (1/sec^2 $\theta$) * dx/dt
$d\theta/dt$ = 1/500 * cos^2 $\theta$ * dx/dt
= 1/500 * cos^2(500/1000) * 1 # since dx/dt = 1
= 0.769 rad.
0.769 rad * 180/pi = approx 0.088 degree/sec. Is this correct?