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CHAPTER

19

Kinematics

Objectives

To model motion in a straight line and to use calculus to solve problems involving

motion in a line with constant and variable acceleration

To use graphical methods to solve problems involving motion in a straight line

Introduction

Kinematics is the study of motion without reference to the cause of the motion. In this chapter

we will consider the motion of a particle in a straight line only. Such motion is called

rectilinear motion. When referring to the motion of a particle we may in fact be referring to a

body of any size. However for the purposes of studying its motion we can consider that all

forces that act upon the body, causing it to move, act through a single point. Hence we can

consider the motion of a car or train in the same way as we would consider the motion of a

dimensionless particle.

It is important to make a distinction between vector and scalar quantities when studying

motion. Quantities such as displacement, velocity and acceleration must be speciﬁed by both

magnitude and direction. They are vector quantities. Distance, speed and time on the other

hand are speciﬁed by their magnitude only. They are scalar quantities.

Since we are considering movement in a straight line only, the direction of all vector

quantities is simply speciﬁed by the sign of the numerical value.

19.1

Position, velocity and acceleration

Position

The position coordinate of a particle moving in a straight line is determined by its distance

from a ﬁxed point O on the line, called the origin, and whether it is to the right or left of O. Conventionally the direction to the right of the origin is considered to be positive.

x

O

P

X

463

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Consider a particle which starts at O and begins to move. The position of a particle is determined by a number, x, called the position coordinate. If the units are metres and if

x = −3, the position is 3 m to the left of O, while if x = 3, the displacement is 3 m to the right of O.

The displacement is deﬁned as the change in position of the particle relative to O.

Sometimes there is a rule which enables the position coordinate, at any instant, to be

calculated. In this case x is redeﬁned as a function of t. Hence x(t) is the displacement at

time t. Speciﬁcation of a displacement function together with the physical idealisation of

a

real situation constitute a mathematical model of the situation.

An example of a mathematical model is the following.

A stone is dropped from the top of a vertical cliff 45 m high. Assume that the stone is a

particle travelling in a straight line. Let x(t) be the downwards position of the particle from O,

the top of the cliff, t seconds after the particle is dropped. If air resistance is neglected, an

approximate model for the displacement is

x(t) = 5t 2 for 0 t 3

is important to distinguish between the scalar quantity distance and the vector quantity

It

displacement.

Consider a particle that starts at O and moves ﬁrstly ﬁve units to the right to point P, and

then seven units to the left to point Q.

Q

O

P

–4

–3

–2

–1

0

123456

Its ﬁnal position is x = −2. However the distance the particle has moved is 12 units.

Example 1

A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm relative to O at time t seconds is

given by x = t

a

2

7t + 6, t 0. Find

b

its initial position

its position at t = 4.

Solution

a

b

At t = 0,

At t = 4,

x = +6

x = (4) 2 7(4) + 6 = −6

i.e. the particle is 6 cm to the right of O.

i.e. the particle is 6 cm to the left of O.

Velocity

You should already be familiar with the concept of a rate of change through your studies in Mathematical Methods. The velocity of a particle is deﬁned as the rate of change of its position with respect to time. We can consider the average rate of change , the change in position over a period of time, or

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Chapter 19 — Kinematics

465

we can consider the instantaneous rate of change, which speciﬁes the rate of change at a given instant in time. If a particle moves from x 1 at time t 1 to x 2 at time t 2 , then its

average velocity =

x 2 x 1

t 2 t 1

Velocity may be positive, negative or zero. If the velocity is positive the particle is moving to

the right and if it is negative the direction of motion is to the left. A velocity of zero means the

particle is instantaneously at rest.

The instantaneous rate of change of position with respect to time is the instantaneous

velocity. If the position, x, of the particle at time t is given as a function of t, then the velocity of

the particle at time t is determined by differentiating the rule for position with respect to time.

Common units of velocity (and speed) are:

1 metre per second

1

1 kilometre per hour

= 1 m/s

centimetre per second = 1 cm/s

= 1 km/h

The ﬁrst and third are connected in the following way:

1 km/h = 1000 m/h

=

=

1 m/s =

1000

60 × 60

5

18

18

m/s

km/h

5

m/s

Note the distinction between velocity and speed.

Speed is the magnitude of the velocity.

Average speed for a time interval [ t

1 , t 2 ] is equal to

distances travelled

t 2 t 1

Instantaneous velocity v =

dx

dt

where x is a function of time.

Example 2

A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm relative to O at time t seconds is

given by x = t

a

c

7t + 6, t 0. Find

its initial velocity

its average velocity for the ﬁrst 4 s

2

Solution

a x = t 2 7t + 6

v = dx

= 2t 7

b

d

when and where its velocity equals zero

its average speed for the ﬁrst 4 s.

dt at t = 0, v = −7 i.e. the particle is moving to the left at 7 cm/s.

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b

c

d

2t 7 = 0 implies t = 3.5 When t = 3.5, x = (3.5) 2 7(3.5) + 6 = −6.25

The particle is 6.25 cm to the left of O.

change in position

change in time

average velocity =

at t = 4,

average velocity =

x = −6

6 − +6

4

= −3 cm/s

average speed =

distance travelled

change in time

t = 3.5

t = 4

O

t = 0

–6

1

4

6

5

–4

–3

–2

–1

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

Since the particle has stopped at t = 3.5 and begun to move in the opposite direction,

we must consider the distance travelled in the ﬁrst 3.5 s (from x = 6 to x = −6.25)

and then the distance travelled in the ﬁnal 0.5 s (from x = −6.25 to x = −6).

total distance travelled = 12.25 + 0.25 = 12.5

average speed =

12.5

4

= 3.125 cm/s

Acceleration

The acceleration of a particle is deﬁned as the rate of change of its velocity with respect to time.

Average acceleration for the time interval [ t

1 , t 2 ] is deﬁned by

v 2 v 1

t 2 t 1

where v 2 is the

velocity at time t 2 and v 1 is the velocity at time t 1 .

Instantaneous acceleration a =

dv

dt

=

dt dx

dt

d

= d 2 dt

x

2

d 2 x

dt

2

is denoted by x (t) or x¨ (t).

For kinematics, the second derivative

Acceleration may be positive, negative or zero. Zero acceleration means the particle is

moving at a constant velocity. Note that the direction of motion and the acceleration need not

coincide. For example, a particle may have a positive velocity indicating it is moving to the

right, but a negative acceleration indicating it is slowing down. Also, although a particle may be instantaneously at rest its acceleration at that instant need not be zero. If acceleration has the same sign as velocity then the particle is ‘speeding up’. If the sign is opposite the particle is ‘slowing down’. The most commonly used units for acceleration include cm/s 2 and m/s 2 .

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Chapter 19 — Kinematics

467

Example 3

A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm relative to O at time t seconds is

given by x = t 3 6t 2 + 5, t 0. Find

a

b

its initial position, velocity and acceleration and hence describe its motion

the times when it is instantaneously at rest and its position and acceleration at those times.

Solution

a

for x = t 3 6t 2 + 5, v = 3t 2

t = 0

x = 5,

v = 0

12t and a = 6t 12

and a = −12

Particle is instantaneously at rest 5 cm to right of O with an acceleration of

b

12 cm/s .

v = 3t 2 12t = 0

3t(t 4) = 0

2

t = 0 or t = 4

Particle is initially at rest and stops again after 4 s.

At t = 0, x = 5

At t = 4, x = (4) 3 6(4) 2 + 5 = −27

and a = −12

and a = 6(4) 12 = 12

After 4 s the position of the particle is 27 cm to the left of O and its acceleration is

Examples 1, 2

Example 3

12 cm/s.

Exercise

19A

1

2

A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm relative to O at time t seconds

(t 0) is given by x = t 2 7t + 12. Find

a

c

e

its initial position

its initial velocity

its average velocity in the ﬁrst 5 s

b

d

f

its position at t = 5

when and where its velocity equals zero

its average speed in the ﬁrst 5 s.

The position x metres at time t seconds (t

given by x = t 2 7t + 10. Find

a

c

when its velocity equals zero

the distance travelled in the ﬁrst 5 s

0) of a particle moving in a straight line is

b

d

its acceleration at this time

when and where its velocity is 2 m/s.

3 A particle moving in a straight line is x cm from the point O at time t seconds (t x = t 3 11t 2 + 24t 3. Find

0) where

 a its initial position and velocity b its velocity at any time c at what times the particle is stationary d where the particle is stationary e for how long the particle’s velocity is negative f its acceleration at any time g when the particle’s acceleration is zero and its velocity and position at that time.

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4 A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm relative to O at time t seconds

19.2

5

6

(t 0) is given by x

a when its velocity is zero and its acceleration at that time

b

= 2t 3 5t 2 + 4t 5. Find

when its acceleration is zero and its velocity at that time.

A particle moving in a straight line is x cm from the point O at time t seconds (t 0) where

x = t 3 13t 2 + 46t 48.

Find when it passes through O and its velocity and acceleration at those times.

Two particles are moving along a straight path so that their displacements, x cm from a

ﬁxed point P at any time, are given by x = t + 2 and x = t

a

b

2

2t 2. Find

the time when the particles are at the same position

the time when they are moving with the same velocity.

Using antiderivatives for kinematics problems

So far we have considered examples where the equation of motion has deﬁned the position of

the particle in terms of time and from it we have derived equations for the velocity and the

acceleration by differentiation.

We may be given a rule for acceleration at time t , and by the use of antidifferentiation with

respect to t and some additional information we can deduce rules for both velocity and

position.

Example 4

A

is

a

c

e

body starts from O and moves in a straight line. After t seconds (t

given by v = 2t 4. Find

0) its velocity (v cm/s)

its position x in terms of t

its average velocity in the ﬁrst 3 s

its average speed in the ﬁrst 3 s.

b

d

its position after 3 s

the distance travelled in the ﬁrst 3 s

Solution

a

Antidifferentiate with respect to t to ﬁnd the expression for position x m at time

t seconds

x = t 2 4t + c

When t = 0, x = 0 and therefore c = 0

x

= t 2 4t

b When t = 3, x = −3. The body is 3 units to the left of O

c Average velocity = 3 0 = −1 m/s

3

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Chapter 19 — Kinematics

d v = 0 when 2t

4 = 0, i.e., when t = 2

e

When t = 2, x = −4

Therefore the body goes from x = 0 to x = −4 in the ﬁrst 2 s, then back to 3 in the next second. It has travelled 5 m in the ﬁrst 3 s.

Its average speed is

5

3

m/s.

469

Example 5

A

acceleration of a = 6t + 8. Find its position and velocity at any time t seconds.

particle starts from rest3m from a ﬁxed point and moves in a straight line with an

Solution

a =

dv

dt

= 6t + 8

by antidifferentiating v = 3t

at t = 0,

2

+ 8t + c

v = 0 and so c = 0

v = 3t 2 + 8t

by antidifferentiating again x = t

3 + 4t 2 + d

at t = 0,

x = 3 and so d = 3

x = t 3 + 4t 2 + 3

Example 6

stone is projected vertically upward from the top of a building 20 m high with an initial

A

velocity of 15 m/s.

Find

a

b

the time taken for the stone to reach its maximum height

the maximum height reached by the stone

the time taken for the stone to reach the ground

the velocity of the stone as it hits the ground.

c

d

In

rectilinear motion. Also we will assume that the acceleration due to gravity is approximately

10 m/s

this case we only consider the stone’s motion in a vertical direction so we can consider it as

2

(note that downward is considered the negative direction).

Solution

Given that a = −10

at t

v = −10t + c

v

= 0,

= 15

= −10t + 15

v

= = 20

at t = 0,

x

x

5t 2 + 15t + d

x = −5t 2 + 15t + 20

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a The stone will reach its maximum height when v = 0

Example 4

Example 6

Example 5

b

c

which implies

10t + 15 = 0 t = 1.5

At t = 1.5,

x = −5(1.5) 2 + 15(1.5) + 20

= 31.25

The maximum height reached by the stone is 31.25 m.

The stone reaches the ground when x = 0

5t 2 + 15t + 20 = 0

5(t 2 3t 4) = 0

5(t 4)(t + 1) = 0

t = 4 (solution of t = −1 is rejected since t 0)

i.e. the stone takes 4 s to reach the ground.

d

At t = 4,

v = −10(4) + 15

= −25

i.e. velocity on impact is 25 m/s.

Exercise

19B

1

2

3

4

A body starts from O and moves in a straight line. After t seconds (t 0) its velocity

(v cm/s) is given by v = 4t 6. Find

a

c

e

its position x in terms of t

the distance travelled in the ﬁrst 3 s

its average speed in the ﬁrst 3 s.

b

d

its position after 3 s

its average velocity in the ﬁrst 3 s

The velocity (v m/s) at time t seconds (t 0) of a particle is given by v = 3t 2 8t + 5. It

is initially 4 m to the right of a point O. Find

a

b

its displacement and acceleration at any time

its displacement when the velocity is zero

its acceleration when the velocity is zero.

c

A body moves in a straight line with an acceleration of 10 m/s

through O and after 3 s it is 25 m from O, ﬁnd its initial displacement relative to O.

2

. If after 2 s it passes

A body moves in a straight line so that its acceleration a m/s 2 after time t seconds (t 0)

is given by a = 2t 3. If the initial position of the body is 2 m to the right of a point O and

its velocity is 3 m/s, ﬁnd the particle’s position and velocity after 10 s.

5 A body is projected vertically upwards with a velocity of 25 m/s. (Its acceleration due to gravity is 10 m/s 2 .) Find

a the particle’s velocity at any time

b its height above the point of projection at any time

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19.3

c the time it takes to reach its maximum height

d the maximum height reached

Chapter 19 — Kinematics

471

6

In a tall building the lift passes the 50th ﬂoor with a velocity of 8 m/s and an acceleration

of

will stop.

1

9

(t 5) m/s 2

. If each ﬂoor spans a distance of 6 m, ﬁnd at which ﬂoor the lift

Constant acceleration

When considering motion of a particle due to a constant force, e.g. gravity, the acceleration is

constant. There are a number of rules that we may establish by considering the case where

acceleration remains constant or uniform.

Given that

dv

dt

= a

by antidifferentiating we have

v

= at + c where c is the initial velocity.

Using the symbol u for initial velocity we have

v = u + at

1

dx

dt

= v

Now given that

by antidifferentiating a second time we have

x = ut +

1

2

at

2

+ d, where d is the initial position.

If we consider s = x d as the change in position of the particle from its starting point,

i.e. the particle’s displacement from its initial position, we have

v = ut +

1

2

at 2

2

If we transform the formula v = u + at so that t is the subject we have

t =

v u

a

By substitution in

s = ut +

1

2

at

s =

u(v u)

a

2

+

a(v u) 2

2a 2

2as = 2u(v u) + (v u)

2

= 2uv 2u 2 + v 2 2uv + u 2

= v 2 u 2

i.e.

v 2 = u 2 + 2as

3

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Also we know that distance travelled = average velocity × time.

i.e.

s =

1

2 (u + v)t

4

These four formulas are very useful but it must be remembered that they only apply when

dealing with constant acceleration.

When approaching problems involving constant acceleration it is a good idea to list the

quantities you are given, establish which quantity or quantities you require and then use the

appropriate formula. Ensure that all quantities are converted to compatible units.

Constant acceleration summary

If acceleration is constant, the following formulas may be applied, where u is the initial

velocity, v is the ﬁnal velocity, a is the acceleration, t is the time and s is the displacement.

1

2

1

2

(u + v)t

v = u + at

s = ut +

at 2

v 2 = u 2 + 2as

s =

Example 7

A body is moving in a straight line with uniform acceleration at an initial velocity of 12 m/s.

After5s its velocity is 20 m/s. Find

a

c

the acceleration

the time taken to travel a distance of 200 m.

b

the distance travelled in this time

Solution

a

c

Given u = 12

v = 20

t = 5

Find a using v = u + at

20 = 12 + 5a

a = 1.6

The acceleration is 1.6 m/s

2

.

b

1

Find s using s = ut + 2 at

2

= 12(5) +

= 80

1

2

(1.6)5

The distance travelled is 80 m.

Using the formula

s = ut +

1

2

200 = 12t +

200 = 12t +

at 2 gives

1

× (1.6) × t

2

4

5

t

2

1000 = 60t + 4t

2

i.e.

250

t 2 + 15t 250 (t 10)(t + 25)

= = 0 = 0

15t + t

2

2

As t 0,

t = 10 or t = −25

t = 10 is the acceptable solution.

2

The body takes 10 s to travel a distance of 200 m.

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Example 7

Chapter 19 — Kinematics

473

Exercise
19C
1

How long does it take for a body at rest to travel a distance of 30 m if it is accelerated at

1.5

m/s 2 ?

2

A car is travelling at 25 m/s when the brakes are applied. It is brought to rest with uniform

deceleration in 3 s. How far would it travel after the brakes were applied?

3

4

5

A motor cycle accelerates uniformly from 3 m/s to 30 m/s in 9 s. Find

a

b

the acceleration

the time it will take to increase in speed from 30 m/s to 50 m/s

the distance travelled in the ﬁrst 15 s (assuming it starts from rest)

the time taken to reach a speed of 200 km/h (assuming it starts from rest).

c

d

A car accelerating uniformly from rest reaches a speed of 45 km/h in 5 s. Find

a

b

its acceleration

the distance travelled in the 5 s.

A train starts from rest at a station and accelerates uniformly at 0.5 m/s 2 until it reaches a

speed of 90 km/h.

a

b

How long does the train take to reach this speed?

How far does the train travel in reaching this speed?

6

A train travelling at 54 km/h begins to climb an incline of constant gradient that produces

a deceleration of 0.25 m/s

a

b

2

.

How long will the train take to travel a distance of 250 m?

What will the train’s speed be then?

For 7 to 11 assume that the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 m/s

resistance. Upward motion is considered to be in the positive direction.

2

and ignore air

7

A stone is projected vertically upwards from O with a speed of 20 m/s. Find

a

b

the velocity of the stone after 4 s

the distance of the stone from O after 4 s.

8

9

Repeat 7 for the stone being projected downwards from O with the same speed.

A body is projected vertically upwards with a velocity of 49 m/s.

a

b When will the body be at a height of 102.9 m above the point of projection?

After what time will the body return to the point of projection?

10 A man dives from a springboard where his centre of gravity is initially 3 m above the water and his initial velocity is 4.9 m/s upwards. Regarding the diver as a particle at his centre of gravity, and assuming that the diver’s motion is vertical, ﬁnd

a the diver’s velocity after t seconds

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SAMPLE

b the diver’s height above the water after t seconds

c the maximum height of the diver above the water

11

12

d the time taken for the diver to reach the water.

A stone is thrown vertically upwards from the top edge of a cliff 24.5 m high with a speed

of 19.6 m/s. Find

a

b

the time taken for the stone to reach its maximum height

the maximum height reached from the foot of the cliff

the time taken for the stone to return to the point of projection

the time taken for the stone to reach the foot of the cliff.

c

d

A body is travelling at 20 m/s when it passes point P and 40 m/s when it passes point Q.

Find its speed when it is halfway from P to Q, assuming uniform acceleration.

19.4

Velocity–time graphs

Many kinematics problems can be solved using velocity–time graphs. These are particularly

useful if acceleration is constant but with a broader knowledge of integral calculus they can

also be used when acceleration is variable.

First, we understand that if the acceleration is constant then v = u + at .

This constitutes a linear relationship between v and t where a is the gradient of the

corresponding velocity–time graph.

Since v = dx dt

it follows that

t

1

t

2

v(t)dt = x 2 x 1

where x 1 is the position at time t 1 and x 2 is the position at time t 2 .

Then the total area of the region(s) between

the velocity–time graph and the t axis

corresponds to the distance travelled by

the particle between times t

1

and t 2 .

Consideration of the velocity–time graph

is particularly useful in situations where

there are several stages to the particle’s

motion.

v

area =

displacement

t

1

t

2

t

Example 8

A car starts from rest and accelerates uniformly for 25 s until it is travelling at 25 m/s. It

then maintains this velocity for 3 minutes before decelerating uniformly until it stops in

another 15 s. Construct a velocity–time graph and use it to determine the total distance travelled in kilometres.

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Solution

Chapter 19 — Kinematics

475

From the graph we can calculate
the area of the trapezium.
v (m/s)
25
(a + b) h
Area =
2
1
O
t (s)
=
(220 + 180) 25
2
25
205 220
=
5000 m
=
5 km
The total distance travelled is 5 km.
Example 9
A motorist is travelling at a constant speed of 120 km/h when he passes a stationary police car.
He continues at that speed for another 15 s before uniformly decelerating to 100 km/h in 5 s.
The police car takes off after the motorist the instant it passes. It accelerates uniformly for 25 s
by which time it has reached 130 km/h. It continues at that speed until it catches up to the
motorist. After how long does the police car catch up to the motorist and how far has he
travelled in that time?
Solution
We start by representing the information
v (km/h)
on a velocity–time graph.
130
police car
The distance travelled by the motorist
120
and the police car will be the same so
100
motorist
the areas under each of the velocity–time
graphs will be equal. This fact can be
t (s)
O
T
used to ﬁnd T, the time taken for the
1520 25
police car to catch up to the motorist.
For the motorist, the distance travelled
after T seconds
5
= 120 × 15 + 1 2 (120 + 100) × 5 + 100(T − 20)
18
5
=
(1800 + 550 + 100T − 2000)
18
5
=
(100T + 350)
18
Note: The factor
5
18 changes velocities from km/h to m/s.
SAMPLE

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SAMPLE

Police car: 2 × 25 × 130 + 130(T 25)

1

= (1625 + 130T 3250)

= (130T 1625)

5

18

5

18

5

18

When the police car catches the motorist

100T + 350 = 130T 1625

30T = 1975

T =

395

6

The police car catches the motorist after 65.83 s.

distance = (100T + 350)

=

52 000

27

m

distance = 1.926 km

5

18

where T =

395

6

The police car has travelled 1.926 km when it catches the motorist.

Example 8

Exercise

19D

It is suggested that you draw a velocity–time graph for each of these questions.

1

A particle starts from rest and accelerates uniformly for5s until it reaches a speed of

10 m/s. It immediately decelerates uniformly until it comes to rest after a further 8 s. How

far did it travel?

2

3

4

A car accelerates uniformly from rest for 10 s to a speed of 15 m/s. It maintains this speed

for a further 25 s before decelerating uniformly to rest after a further 15 s. Find

a

b

the total distance travelled by the car

the distance it had travelled when it started to decelerate

the time taken for it to reach the halfway point of its journey.

c

A particle starts from rest and travels 1 km before coming to rest again. For the ﬁrst 5 s it

accelerates uniformly. It next maintains a constant speed for 500 m, and then decelerates

uniformly for the last 10 s. Find the maximum speed of the particle.

A car passes point P with a speed of 36 km/h and continues at this speed for 12 s before accelerating to a speed of 72 km/h in 6 s. How far from P is the car when it reaches a speed of 72 km/h?

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Chapter 19 — Kinematics

477

5 A tram decelerates uniformly from a speed of 60 km/h to rest in 60 s. Find

a the distance travelled by the tram

b how far it had travelled by the time it had reduced its speed by half

Example 9

6

c

the time taken for it to travel half the total distance.

A car passes a point A with a speed of 15 m/s and continues travelling at that speed. A

second car starts from rest and accelerates uniformly until it reaches a speed of 25 m/s in

10 s. Both cars continue with a constant speed on to point B which they reach at the same

7

8

time.

a

b

How long does it take for both cars to reach point B?

How far is it from A to B?

Two stations A and B are 14 km apart. A train passes through station A, heading towards B,

maintaining a constant speed of 60 km/h. At the instant it passes through A, a second train

on the same track leaves station B, heading towards A, and accelerates uniformly. After 5

minutes the alarm is raised at both stations simultaneously that a collision is imminent.

Both trains are radioed and told to brake. The ﬁrst train decelerates uniformly so that it will

stop in 2.5 minutes. The second train, which has reached a speed of 80 km/h, will take 4

minutes to stop. Will they collide?

Two tram stops are 800 m apart. A tram starts at rest from the ﬁrst stop and accelerates at a

constant acceleration of a m/s

2a m/s

stops is 1 min 40 seconds. Find

a

b

2

for a certain time and then decelerates at a constant rate of

2

, before coming to rest at the second stop. The time taken to travel between the

the maximum speed reached by the tram in km/h

the time at which the brakes are applied

the value of a.

c

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 Chapter summary The position coordinate of a particle moving in a straight line is determined by its distance from a ﬁxed point O, called the origin, and whether the particle is to the right or left of O. Conventionally, the direction to the right of the origin is considered to be positive. displacement (x) is the position of the particle relative to O dx velocity (v) is the rate of change of its position with respect to time, i.e. v = dt speed is a scalar quantity and refers to the distance travelled per unit time change in position average velocity = change in time distance travelled average speed = change in time acceleration (a) is the rate of change of its velocity with respect to time, i.e. dv d 2 x a = = dt Constant acceleration dt 2 If acceleration is constant, the following formulae may be applied where u is the initial velocity, v is the ﬁnal velocity, a is the acceleration, t is the time and s is the displacement v = u + at s = ut + 1 at 2 2 2 1 (u + v) t Velocity–time graphs 2 v = u + 2as s = 2 The area of the region(s) between the velocity–time (v against t) graph and the t axis between t = t 1 and t = t 2 corresponds to the distance travelled by the particle between times t 1 and t 2 . Multiple-choice questions 1 A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm from a ﬁxed point O at time t seconds (t ≥ 0) is given by x = −t 3 + 7t 2 − 12t. The initial position of the particle relative to O is A 0 cm B −6 cm C 12 cm D −20 cm E 5 cm 2 A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm from a ﬁxed point O at time t seconds (t ≥ 0) is given by x = −t 3 + 7t 2 − 12t. The average velocity of the particle in the ﬁrst 2 s correct to two decimal places is A 4 cm/s B −4 cm/s C 2 cm/s D 4.06 cm/s E −2 cm/s 3 A particle moves in a straight line with acceleration of 4 − 6t m/s 2 at time t seconds. The particle has an initial velocity of −1 m/s and an initial position of 4 m from a ﬁxed point O. The velocity of the particle when t = 1 is A −1 m/s B 6 m/s C 0 m/s D 4 m/s E −2 m/s

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Chapter 19 — Kinematics

479

4
A body starts from rest with a uniform acceleration of 1.8 m/s 2 . The time it will take for
the body to travel 90 m is
A 5 s
B
√ 10 s
C
10 s
D
√ 10
E
10 √ 2 s
5
A car accelerating uniformly from rest reaches a speed of 60 km/h in 4 s. The car’s
acceleration is
25
2
2
2
2
2
D km/h
E
25
m/s
A 15 km/h
B 15 m/s
C 54 m/s
6
6
6
A car accelerating uniformly from rest reaches a speed of 60 km/h in 4 s. The distance
travelled by the car in the 4 s is
100
A 200 m
B
100 km
C
m D
100 m
E
360 m
3 v (m/s)
7
A car’s motion is represented by the
velocity–time graph shown.
25
The total distance travelled by the car
20
over the 15 s is
15
A
75 m
B
315 m
C
182.5 m
10
D
167.5 m
E
375 m
5
t (s)
0
4
5 6
10
15
8
A rock falls from the top of a cliff 40 m high. The rock’s speed just before it hits the ground
2
in m/s g = 9.8 m/s
is
A 20
B
22
C
24
D
26
E
28
9
A body initially travelling at 20 m/s is subject to a constant deceleration of 4 m/s
2 . The
time it takes to come to rest (t seconds) and the distance travelled before it comes to rest
(s metres) is given by
A
t = 5, s = 50
B
t = 5, s = 45
C
t = 4, s = 20
D
t = 5, s = 40
E
t = 4, s = 35
10
A particle moves in a straight line with acceleration of 12t − 5 m/s
2 at time t seconds. The
particle has an initial velocity of 1 m/s and an initial position of0m from a ﬁxed point O.
Find the velocity of the particle at t = 1.
A 1 m/s
B
−5 m/s
C
7 m/s
D
2 m/s
E
3 m/s

1 A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm relative to O at time t seconds

(t

a

c

e

0) is given by x = t

2 4t 5. Find

 its initial position b its position at t = 3 its initial velocity d when and where its velocity equals zero its average velocity in the ﬁrst 3 s f its average speed in the ﬁrst 3 s.

2 A particle moves in a straight line so that its position x cm relative to O at time t seconds (t 0) is given by x = t 3 2t 2 + 8. Find

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a its initial position, velocity and acceleration and hence describe its motion
b the times when it is stationary and its positions and acceleration at those times.
3 A particle moving in a straight line is x cm from the point O at time t seconds (t
≥ 0),
3
2
where x = −2t
+ 3t
+ 12t + 7. Find
a
when the particle passes through O and its velocity and its acceleration at those times
b
when the particle is at rest
c
the distance travelled in the ﬁrst 3 s.
4
Two particles A and B are moving in a straight line such that their displacements x cm from
the point O at time t seconds are given by x
and x
respectively, where
1
2
3
2
x
(t)
=t
− t
t
≥0
1
2
x
(t)
=t
t
≥0
2
a
Find
1
1
i
the displacement of A after
s
ii
the acceleration of A after
s
2
2
1
iii
the velocity of B after
s.
2
b
Find
i
the times when A and B collide (i.e., have the same displacement)
ii
the maximum distance between A and B during the ﬁrst 2 s of motion.
the particle starts from rest at the origin O, ﬁnd
a
the velocity after 2 s
b
the displacement at any time t.
(t
≥ 0). If the particle starts at the origin O with a velocity of 4 m/s, ﬁnd
a
the time when the particle comes to rest
b
the position of the particle at the instant it comes to rest
c
the acceleration at this instant
d
the time when the acceleration is zero
e
the velocity at this time.
7
A particle moves in a straight line and, t seconds after it starts from O, its velocity is
2
3
2t
− 3t
m/s. Find
a
the displacement after 1 s
b
the velocity after 1 s
c
the acceleration after 1 s.
+
8
For a particle moving in a straight line, the velocity function is v : R
→ R, where
1
v (t) =
and t is the time in seconds. Find
2t
2
a the acceleration after t seconds
b the displacement at time t seconds, given that the particle is at O when t = 1.
9 The velocity, v m/s, of a body t seconds after it starts moving from O along a straight line is
given by v = t 3 − 11t 2 + 24t, t ≥ 0.

5

A particle moving in a straight line has acceleration of 6t m/s

2

at time t seconds (t

0). If

6

A particle moving in a straight line has acceleration of (3 2t) m/s

2

at time t seconds

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Chapter 19 — Kinematics

481

a Find the acceleration at time t.

b Find the acceleration at the instant when the body ﬁrst changes direction.

c Find the displacement of the body from O after 5 s, and the total distance travelled in

10

11

the ﬁrst 5 s.

A car is travelling at 20 m/s when the brakes are applied. It is brought to rest with uniform

deceleration in 4 s. How far did it travel after the brakes were applied?

A car accelerates uniformly from 0 to 30 m/s in 12 s. Find

a

b

the acceleration

the time it will take to increase in speed from 30 m/s to 50 m/s

the distance travelled in the ﬁrst 20 s

the time taken to reach a speed of 100 km/h.

c

d

speed of 60 km/h.

a

b

How long does the train take to reach this speed?

How far does the train travel in reaching this speed?

For questions 13 and 14 assume that the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 m/s

resistance. Upward motion is considered to be in the positive direction.

13

2

and ignore air

A body is projected vertically upward with a velocity of 35 m/s.

a

b

A stone is projected vertically upward from the top of a cliff 20 m high with a speed of

After what time will the body return to the point of projection?

When will the body be at a height of 60 m above the point of projection?

14

19.6 m/s. Find

a

b

c

d

the time taken for the stone to reach its maximum height

the maximum height reached, with respect to ground level

the time taken for the stone to return to the point of projection

the time taken for the stone to reach the foot of the cliff.

It is suggested that you draw a velocity–time graph for each of the questions 15 to 18.

15

A particle starts from rest and accelerates uniformly for 15 s until it reaches a speed of

25 m/s. It immediately decelerates uniformly until it comes to rest after a further 20 s. How

far did it travel?

A car accelerates uniformly from rest for 8 s to a speed of 12 m/s. It maintains this speed

for a further 15 s before decelerating uniformly to rest after a further 10 s. Find

a

b

A vehicle starts from rest and travels 1 km before coming to rest again. For the ﬁrst 15 s it accelerates uniformly, before maintaining a constant speed for 800 m then ﬁnally decelerating uniformly to rest in 10 s. Find the maximum speed of the vehicle.

16

the total distance travelled by the car

the time taken for it to reach the halfway point of its journey.

17

18 A car travels at a constant speed of 12 m/s along a straight road. It passes a second stationary car which sets off in pursuit3s later. Find the constant acceleration required for the second car so that it catches the ﬁrst car after a further 27 s has passed.

12

A train starts from rest at a station and accelerates uniformly at 0.4 m/s

2

until it reaches a

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