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# 2/16/2017 KinematicEquationsandGraphs

KinematicEquationsandGraphs
KinematicEquations
KinematicEquationsandProblemSolving
KinematicEquationsandFreeFall
SampleProblemsandSolutions
KinematicEquationsandGraphs

Lesson4ofthisunitatThePhysicsClassroomfocusedontheuseofvelocitytimegraphstodescribe
themotionofobjects.InthatLesson,itwasemphasizedthattheslopeofthelineonavelocitytime
graphisequaltotheaccelerationoftheobjectandtheareabetweenthelineandthetimeaxisisequal
tothedisplacementoftheobject.Thus,velocitytimegraphscanbeusedtodeterminenumericalvalues
andrelationshipsbetweenthequantitiesdisplacement(d),velocity(v),acceleration(a)andtime(t).In
Lesson6,thefocushasbeenupontheuseoffourkinematicequationstodescribethemotionofobjects
andtopredictthenumericalvaluesofoneofthefourmotionparametersdisplacement(d),velocity
(v),acceleration(a)andtime(t).Thus,therearenowtwomethodsavailabletosolveproblems
involvingthenumericalrelationshipsbetweendisplacement,velocity,accelerationandtime.Inthispart
ofLesson6,wewillinvestigatetherelationshipsbetweenthesetwomethods.

ExampleProblemGraphicalSolution
Consideranobjectthatmoveswithaconstantvelocityof+5m/sforatimeperiodof5secondsand
thenacceleratestoafinalvelocityof+15m/soverthenext5seconds.Suchaverbaldescriptionof
motioncanberepresentedbyavelocitytimegraph.Thegraphisshownbelow.

Thehorizontalsectionofthegraphdepictsaconstantvelocitymotion,consistentwiththeverbal
description.Thepositivelysloped(i.e.,upwardsloped)sectionofthegraphdepictsapositive
acceleration,consistentwiththeverbaldescriptionofanobjectmovinginthepositivedirectionand
speedingupfrom5m/sto15m/s.Theslopeofthelinecanbecomputedusingtheriseoverrunratio.
Between5and10seconds,thelinerisesfrom5m/sto15m/sandrunsfrom5sto10s.Thisisatotal
riseof+10m/sandatotalrunof5s.Thus,theslope(rise/runratio)is(10m/s)/(5s)=2m/s2.Using
thevelocitytimegraph,theaccelerationoftheobjectisdeterminedtobe2m/s2duringthelastfive
secondsoftheobject'smotion.Thedisplacementoftheobjectcanalsobedeterminedusingthe
velocitytimegraph.Theareabetweenthelineonthegraphandthetimeaxisisrepresentativeofthe
displacementthisareaassumestheshapeofatrapezoid.AsdiscussedinLesson4,theareaofa
trapezoidcanbeequatedtotheareaofatrianglelyingontopoftheareaofarectangle.Thisis
illustratedinthediagrambelow.

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2/16/2017 KinematicEquationsandGraphs

Thetotalareaisthentheareaoftherectangleplustheareaofthetriangle.Thecalculationofthese
areasisshownbelow.
Rectangle Triangle
Area=base*height Area=0.5*base*height
Area=(10s)*(5m/s) Area=0.5*(5s)*(10m/s)

Area=50m Area=25m
Thetotalarea(rectangleplustriangle)isequalto75m.Thusthedisplacementoftheobjectis75
metersduringthe10secondsofmotion.
Theabovediscussionillustrateshowagraphicalrepresentationofanobject'smotioncanbeusedto
velocitytimegraphcanbeusedtodeterminethevelocityoftheobjectatanygiveninstantduringthe
10secondsofmotion.Forexample,thevelocityoftheobjectat7secondscanbedeterminedby
reveal(ordetermine)numericalvaluesandrelationshipsbetweenthequantitiesdisplacement(d),
velocity(v),acceleration(a)andtime(t)foranygivenmotion.

ExampleProblemSolutionUsingKinematicEquation
Nowlet'sconsiderthesameverbaldescriptionandthecorrespondinganalysisusingkinematic
equations.Theverbaldescriptionofthemotionwas:

Anobjectthatmoveswithaconstantvelocityof+5m/sforatimeperiodof5secondsand
thenacceleratestoafinalvelocityof+15m/soverthenext5seconds

Kinematicequationscanbeappliedtoanymotionforwhichtheaccelerationisconstant.Sincethis
motionhastwoseparateaccelerationstages,anykinematicanalysisrequiresthatthemotion
parametersforthefirst5secondsnotbemixedwiththemotionparametersforthelast5seconds.The
tablebelowliststhegivenmotionparameters.
t=0s5s t=5s10s
vi=5m/s
vf=5m/s vi=5m/s
vf=15m/s
t=5s
t=5s
a=0m/s2
Notethattheaccelerationduringthefirst5secondsislistedas0m/s2despitethefactthatitisnot
explicitlystated.Thephrase constantvelocity
indicatesamotionwitha0acceleration.Theacceleration
oftheobjectduringthelast5secondscanbecalculatedusingthefollowingkinematicequation.
vf=vi+a*t
Thesubstitutionandalgebraareshownhere.
15m/s=5m/s+a*(5s)
15m/s5m/s=a*(5s)

10m/s=a*(5s)

(10m/s)/(5s)=a

a=2m/s2
Thisvaluefortheaccelerationoftheobjectduringthetimefrom5sto10sisconsistentwiththevalue
determinedfromtheslopeofthelineonthevelocitytimegraph.
Thedisplacementoftheobjectduringtheentire10secondscanalsobecalculatedusingkinematic
equations.Sincethese10secondsincludetwodistinctlydifferentaccelerationintervals,thecalculations
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foreachintervalmustbedoneseparately.Thisisshownbelow.
t=0s5s t=5s10s
2
d=vi*t+0.5*a*t
d=((vi+vf)/2)*t
d=(5m/s)*(5s)+0.5*(0m/s2)*(5
d=((5m/s+15m/s)/2)*(5s)
s)2
d=(10m/s)*(5s)
d=25m+0m
d=50m
d=25m
Thetotaldisplacementduringthefirst10secondsofmotionis75meters,consistentwiththevalue
determinedfromtheareaunderthelineonthevelocitytimegraph.
Theanalysisofthissimplemotionillustratesthevalueofthesetworepresentationsofmotionvelocity
timegraphandkinematicequations.Eachrepresentationcanbeutilizedtoextractnumerical