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Luke English

Motion Study Notes

Describing Motion
Distance (s) is how far an object has travelled.
Displacement (s) is how far, and in which direction, an object is from its starting
Speed is the rate at which distance is covered.
Average speed is the average of all of the speeds over a given interval, whereas
instantaneous speed is the measured speed at one instant in time.
The formula for average speed is: average speed = distance travelled/time taken, or
V = S/t
Use the above equation to solve problems.
Velocity is the speed in a given direction.
Assemble a ticker timer and use it to generate ticker tapes of constant speed,
acceleration and deceleration.
Analyse a section of ticker tape to determine the speed.
Draw and analyse distance-time graphs to describe the motion of an object
including determine the speed of the object (from the slope).
Draw and analyse speed-time graphs to describe the motion of an object including
determining the distance travelled (from the area under the line).
Use the formula s = vt to solve problems.
A persons reaction time is affected by factors such as alcohol, drugs, lack of sleep,
distractions, etc.
Acceleration is the change in speed over a given time.
Acceleration = Change in speed / time taken
Deceleration is negative acceleration, or slowing down.
The acceleration of an object can by calculated given its initial and final speed and
the time over which this change took place, using the formula a = (v-u) / t.
The speed of an object can by calculated given its initial speed, acceleration and the
time over which this change took place, using the formula v = u+at.
Analyse speed-time graphs to deduce if an object is accelerating, decelerating or
travelling at constant speed.
Newtons First Law
A force is a push, a pull or a twist.
Forces cause an object to: increase its speed (accelerate), decrease its speed
(decelerate), change its direction and change its shape.
Luke English
Examples of forces causing the above changes include: friction, air resistance and
drag, buoyancy, surface tension, lift, thrust, weight, electrostatic and magnetic.
Acceleration and deceleration (change of speed) are a result of a net force and that
with no external force, objects would maintain at rest or at constant speed.
Newtons First Law states an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by
a force and an object in motion will keep moving at the same speed and in the same
direction unless acted upon by a force.
Inertia is the tendency of an object at rest to remain at rest and an object in motion
to remain in motion.
When a car brakes suddenly, all of the passengers are still travelling at the speed
that the car was travelling at before. Because of this, they will be flung forwards.
However, seatbelts are used to hold back the passengers, by distributing the forces
across strong areas in the hips and shoulders.
Newtons Second Law
Newtons Second Law states the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to
the forces acting upon it and inversely proportional to its mass.
Use the expression F = ma to solve problems.
Newtons second law applies during when people push a car. When one person
applies a force to a car, the car will accelerate. When two people apply forces to the
car (with equal force), the acceleration will be twice as much as one. If the car is
larger, it will have more mass and therefore, smaller acceleration.
Newtons Third Law
Newtons Third Law states For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
Newtons Third Law applies whenever something moves forwards. To move forward,
something has to push backwards. When driving a car, the wheels push the road
backwards and the road pushes the car forwards.
Gravity is the rate of acceleration at which objects fall.
The acceleration due to gravity on the Earths surface is 9.8ms
(often rounded up to
Weight is the force produced by gravity acting on a mass and since it is a force, it is
measured in the units of Newtons (N).
Weight = mass x acceleration due to gravity (w = mg).
Use the above formula to show that the weight of a given mass changes as gravity
Luke English
Mass is the amount of physical matter in an object, whereas weight is the force
produced by gravity acting on mass.
When an object falls, the air exerts a force called air resistance back on the object.
An object achieves terminal velocity when air resistance equals the weight force of
the object.
Work and Energy
Work is done whenever an object is shifted or rearranged by a force.
Work is a form of energy and is measured in Joules (J).
Work = force applied x distance shifted.
Kinetic energy is energy due to motion.
Use the equation KE = mv