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a branch of mechanics concerned with describing the motion of objects using words, diagrams, numbers, graphs, and equations. used to relate displacement, velocity, acceleration and time without reference to the cause motion.

Describing Motion with Words


Distance and Displacement

Distance is a scalar quantity which refers to "how much ground an object has covered" during its motion. Displacement is a vector quantity which refers to "how far out of place an object is"; it is the object's overall change in position.

2. Speed and Velocity

Speed refers to "how fast an object is moving." Velocity refers to "the rate at which an object changes its position. Velocity is direction aware.

Calculating Average Speed and Average Velocity

The data tables below depict objects with constant and changing speed.

3. Acceleration is defined as the rate at

which an object changes its velocity. An object is accelerating if it is changing its velocity.

Constant Acceleration - velocity is changing by a constant amount each second.

Average Acceleration

m/s/s mi/hr/s km/hr/s m/s2

Describing Motion with Position vs. Time Graphs

The Importance of Slope

Slope =

Describing Motion with Velocity vs. Time Graphs

(V = K)

Slope =

Positive Velocity

Negative Velocity

Increasing velocity

Decreasing velocity

Check Your Understanding

1. A physics teacher walks 4 meters East, 2 meters South, 4 meters West, and finally 2 meters North in 6 seconds. Determine the teachers (a) total distance traveled (b) displacement made (c) average speed and (d) average velocity.

2.The diagram below shows the position of a cross-country skier at various times. At each of the indicated times, the skier turns around and reverses the direction of travel. In other words, the skier moves from A to B to C to D. Determine the skiers(a) resulting displacement (b) distance traveled (c)average speed (d)average velocity during these three minutes.

3. A car

Describing Motion in Equations

1. Motion Along x-axis
2. Motion along y-axis (Free Fall) 3. Projectile Motion

Average velocity,

Instantaneous velocity, The limit of the average velocity as the time interval approaches zero.

Average acceleration,

Instantaneous acceleration,
The limit of the average acceleration as the time interval approaches zero.

Constant Acceleration Equations

1. Velocity as a function of time

2. Position as a function of time

3. Velocity as a function of position

Free Fall
A special case of uniformly accelerated motion where acceleration is constant which is equal to the pull of gravity.

Freely Falling Bodies

Refers to the bodies which are either thrown vertically upward or released vertically downward under the action of their own weight.

Projectile Motion
A motion of an object that is moving horizontally at the same time falling.


An object that is given an initial velocity and whose motion is affected by the pull of gravity.

The curved path taken by the projectile.

The figure below is the trajectory of the projectile fired at an angle above the horizontal with an initial velocity Vo


Vo sin 2 Range, R g


Vo sin

For an ideal case of projectile motion, the weight which is the only force present shall be considered constant in magnitude and direction. Thus, the unbalanced force, F is weight, W whose x and y components are:

From Newtons Second Law of Motion:

Thus, projectile motion can be described as a combination of horizontal motion with constant velocity and vertical motion with constant acceleration.

SAMPLE PROBLEMS A. Motion Along x-axis

1.The position of a particle which moves along a straight line is defined by the relation X(t)=t3 -6t2 -15t + 40 (ft) , where t is expressed in seconds. Determine the: a) time in which the velocity will be zero. b) position of the particle at that time. c) distance traveled by the particle from t=0 to time t at zero velocity c) acceleration of the particle at that time. d) particles maximum velocity

2. The acceleration of a motorcycle is given by where, and . The motorcycle is at rest at the origin at Find: (a) position and velocity as a function of time (b) maximum velocity it attains.

3. The acceleration of a particle is given by a(t) =-2.00 m/s2 + (3.00 m/s3)t. (a) Find the initial velocity vo such that the particle will have the same coordinate at t=4.00s as it had at t=0. (b) What will be the velocity at t=4.00 s?

B. Motion Along y-axis (Free Fall)

1. A ball is thrown upward with an initial velocity of 16 m/s. A. What will its maximum height be? B. When will it return to the ground? C. Where will it be in 0.8 s?

2. You are on the roof of the physics 46 meters above the ground. Your physics professor, who is 1.80 meters tall is walking alongside the building at a constant speed of1.2 m/s. If you wish to drop an egg on his head, where should the professor be when you release the egg? Assume that the egg is in free fall.

3. A ball is thrown vertically upward from the top of a tower 20 meters high with a velocity of 12 m/s. Determine the A) velocity v and elevation y of the ball above the ground at any time t. B) Ymax of the ball and the corresponding value of t. C) Time when the ball hits the ground and its corresponding velocity.

C. Projectile Motion
1. A ball is thrown at 20 m/s at an angle of 65o above the horizontal. The ball leaves the throwers hand at a height of 1.8 meters. (a) At what height will it strike a wall 10.0 meters away? (b) What is the balls velocity as hit the wall?

2. A small projectile is fired vertically downward into a fluid medium with initial velocity of 60 m/s. If the fluid resistance causes a deceleration of a = (0.4v 3) m/s2, where v is measured in m/s, determine the velocity v and position x, 4 seconds after the projectile was fired.

3. A tennis ball rolls off the edge of the table 0.800 meter above the floor and strikes the floor at a point 1.50 meters horizontally from the edge of the table. Ignore air resistance. Find the (a) time of flight. (b) magnitude of the initial velocity. (c) magnitude and direction of the velocity of the ball before it strikes the floor.

4. A projectile is fired from a gun and

has initial horizontal and vertical components of the velocity equal to 30 m/s and 40m/s respectively. (a)What is the initial speed of the projectile? (b)How long does it take the projectile to reach the highest point? (c) What is the speed of the projectile at the highest point in its trajectory? (d)What is the range of the projectile?