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Chapter 2

Motion Along a Straight Line


(One Dimension)

2.1 Displacement, Time, And Average Velocity
The average velocity v v
ave
r r
! of a particle as it moves
during the time interval
i f
t t t ! = " is equal to the ratio of
the displacement vector r
r
! to the time interval t ! . That
is,
time
nt displaceme
t
r
v
ave
=
!
!
"
r
r

Note that
t
r
!
!
r
is simply the division of a vector quantity
by a scalar quantity. Thus
ave
v
r
has the same direction as
r
r
! .
Speed is not the same thing as velocity. Average Speed is
time
ce dis
speed average
tan
!
Graphical interpretation of velocity:
Consider the graph of position x versus time t for the
motion of a car moving along the x-axis.
Here the average velocity is equal to the slope of the line
joining the initial and final points on the curve.







2.2 Instantaneous Velocity

Consider the position versus time graph describing the
motion of a particle in one-dimension. The instantaneous
velocity v
r
is equal to the slope of the tangent line to the
curve at the instant of interest.












If you know the velocity versus time curve describing the
motion of a particle in one-dimension, then the
displacement of the particle during the time interval
i f
t t t ! = " is equal to the area under the curve.

2.3 Acceleration
A. The average acceleration
ave
a
r
of an object whose
velocity changes by v
r
! during a time interval
i f
t t t ! = "
is
time
velocity in change
t
v v
t
v
a
i f
ave
=
!
"
=
!
!
#
r r
r
r


Note that
ave
a
r
is a vector that points in the same direction
as v
r
! since the above expression involves the division of
a vector by a scalar quantity.
Consider the velocity versus time curve describing the
one-dimensional motion of a particle. Then,







B. The instantaneous acceleration a
r
of an object equals
the slope of the tangent line to the velocity vs. time curve
at the instant of interest. Actually,

dt
v d
a
r
r
=


For one-dimensional motion:
(i) if (ii) if

Then object speeds up! Then object slows down!

That is, (i) if the velocity vector and the acceleration
vectors point in the same direction, then the object speeds
up. But (ii) if the velocity vector and the acceleration
vectors point in opposite directions, then the object slows
down.


2.4 The Particle Moving Under Constant Acceleration
For motion with constant acceleration, the kinematic
equations of motion are:
2
2
1
t a t v r
i
r r r
+ = !

t a v v
i f
r r r
+ =

r a v v
i f
r r
! " + = 2
2 2


For one-dimensional motion along the x-axis, then one
may use x r ! " !
r
.
And for one-dimensional motion along the y-axis, then
one could use y r ! " !
r
.





2.5 Freely Falling Bodies
A freely falling object is any object moving only under
the influence of gravity, regardless of its initial motion.

The free fall acceleration a
r
near the surface of the Earth
is given by:
! =
2
8 . 9
s
m
a
fall free
r

One denotes the magnitude of the free fall acceleration by
2
8 . 9
s
m
g ! . Hence
! = g a
fall free
r


The kinematic equations thus become:
!
"y = y
f
#y
i
= v
iy
t +
1
2
a
y
t
2

!
v
fy
= v
iy
+ a
y
t
!
v
fy
2
= v
iy
2
+ 2 a
y
" #y
2.6 Velocity and Position by Integration
When the acceleration of a body is NOT constant but is a
known function of time, we can calculate the velocity and
position of the body as functions of time by integrating
the acceleration function. As shown in class, the results
are:

!
v
f
=v
i
+ a dt
0
t
"


!
x
f
= x
i
+ v dt
0
t
"