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Linear Motion

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Linear Motion

You can describe the motion of an object by its position, speed, direction, and acceleration.

4.1Motion Is Relative

An object is moving if its position relative to a fixed point is changing.

4.1Motion Is Relative

Even things that appear to be at rest move.

When we describe the motion of one object with respect to another, we say that the object is moving relative to the other object.

- A book that is at rest, relative to the table it lies on, is moving at about 30 kilometers per second relative to the sun.
- The book moves even faster relative to the center of our galaxy.

4.1Motion Is Relative

When we discuss the motion of something, we describe its motion relative to something else.

- The space shuttle moves at 8 kilometers per second relative to Earth below.
- A racing car in the Indy 500 reaches a speed of 300 kilometers per hour relative to the track.
- Unless stated otherwise, the speeds of things in our environment are measured relative to the surface of Earth.

- Distance is a scalar quantity, which means that is only needs a magnitude. It is how far you are from a reference point.
- Displacement is a vector quantity, which means it needs both magnitude and direction. It is how far you ended up from where you started and in what direction. Therefore, distance is the magnitude of a displacement vector.

- For instance, if you leave home and drive from Houston to Dallas, your displacement is approximately 200 mi, North. When you return to Houston at the end of the trip, your displacement is now zero because you are now back at the place you started.

4.1Motion Is Relative

How can you tell if an object is moving?

4.2Speed

You can calculate the speed of an object by dividing the distance covered by time.

4.2Speed

Before the time of Galileo, people described moving things as simply “slow” or “fast.” Such descriptions were vague.

Galileo is credited as being the first to measure speed by considering the distance covered and the time it takes.

Speed is how fast an object is moving.

4.2Speed

Any combination of units for distance and time that are useful and convenient are legitimate for describing speed:

- miles per hour (mi/h)
- kilometers per hour (km/h)
- centimeters per day
- light-years per century

4.2Speed

A cheetah is the fastest land animal over distances less than 500 meters and can achieve peak speeds of 100 km/h.

4.2Speed

We will primarily use the unit meters per second (m/s) for speed.

If a cheetah covers 50 meters in a time of 2 seconds, its speed is 25 m/s.

4.2Speed

Instantaneous Speed

A car does not always move at the same speed.

You can tell the speed of the car at any instant by looking at the car’s speedometer.

The speed at any instant is called the instantaneous speed.

4.2Speed

The speedometer gives readings of instantaneous speed in both mi/h and km/h.

4.2Speed

Average Speed

In a trip by car, the car will certainly not travel at the same speed all during the trip.

The driver cares about the average speed for the trip as a whole.

The average speed is the total distance covered divided by the time.

4.2Speed

Average speed can be calculated easily:

For example, a distance of 240 kilometers during a time of 4 hours is an average speed of 60 km/h:

4.2Speed

The average speed is often quite different from the instantaneous speed.

Whether we talk about average speed or instantaneous speed, we are talking about the rates at which distance is traveled.

4.2Speed

If we know average speed and travel time, the distance traveled is easy to find.

total distance covered = average speed × travel time

For example, if your average speed is 80 kilometers per hour on a 4-hour trip, then you cover a total distance of 320 kilometers.

4.2Speed

think!

If a cheetah can maintain a constant speed of 25 m/s, it will cover 25 meters every second. At this rate, how far will it travel in 10 seconds? In 1 minute?

4.2Speed

think!

If a cheetah can maintain a constant speed of 25 m/s, it will cover 25 meters every second. At this rate, how far will it travel in 10 seconds? In 1 minute?

Answer:In 10 s the cheetah will cover 250 m, and in 1 min (or 60 s) it will cover 1500 m.

4.2Speed

think!

The speedometer in every car also has an odometer that records the distance traveled. If the odometer reads zero at the beginning of a trip and 35 km a half hour later, what is the average speed?

4.2Speed

think!

The speedometer in every car also has an odometer that records the distance traveled. If the odometer reads zero at the beginning of a trip and 35 km a half hour later, what is the average speed?

Answer:

4.2Speed

How can you calculate speed?

4.3Velocity

Speed is a description of how fast an object moves; velocity is how fast and in what direction it moves.

4.3Velocity

In physics, velocity is speed in a given direction.

- When we say a car travels at 60 km/h, we are specifying its speed.
- When we say a car moves at 60 km/h to the north, we are specifying its velocity.

4.3Velocity

A quantity such as velocity that specifies direction as well as magnitude is called a vector quantity.

- Speed is a scalar quantity.
- Velocity, like force, is a vector quantity.

4.3Velocity

Constant Velocity

Constant speed means steady speed. Something with constant speed doesn’t speed up or slow down.

Constant velocity means both constant speed and constant direction.

Constant direction is a straight line, so constant velocity means motion in a straight line at constant speed.

4.3Velocity

Changing Velocity

If either the speed or the direction (or both) is changing, then the velocity is changing.

- Constant speed and constant velocity are not the same.
- A body may move at constant speed along a curved path but it does not move with constant velocity, because its direction is changing every instant.

4.3Velocity

The car on the circular track may have a constant speed but not a constant velocity, because its direction of motion is changing every instant.

4.3Velocity

think!

The speedometer of a car moving northward reads 60 km/h. It passes another car that travels southward at 60 km/h. Do both cars have the same speed? Do they have the same velocity?

4.3Velocity

think!

The speedometer of a car moving northward reads 60 km/h. It passes another car that travels southward at 60 km/h. Do both cars have the same speed? Do they have the same velocity?

Answer: Both cars have the same speed, but they have opposite velocities because they are moving in opposite directions.

- Slope is calculated using or

- The slope of the position time graph is the velocity of the object.

- The area between the velocity time graph and the x-axis is the displacement of the object during that time interval.

- What is the displacement of the object during the first 5 seconds?

- The area that needs to be analyzed is the green triangle. The area of a triangle can be calculated using

- To find the total displacement of the object during the 25 seconds, you would break the shape into easily calculated areas as shown, calculate the individual areas then add them together.

4.3Velocity

How is velocity different from speed?

4.4Acceleration

You can calculate the acceleration of an object by dividing the change in its velocity by time.

4.4Acceleration

We can change the state of motion of an object by changing its speed, its direction of motion, or both.

Acceleration is the rate at which the velocity is changing.

4.4Acceleration

In physics, the term acceleration applies to decreases as well as increases in speed.

The brakes of a car can produce large retarding accelerations, that is, they can produce a large decrease per second in the speed. This is often called deceleration.

- Slope is calculated using or

- The slope of the velocity time graph is the acceleration of the object.

Constant Velocity

d

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- An object which is moving at a constant velocity would cover equal distances in equal amount of time and it’s graph would appear as an upwardly sloping diagonal line.

Constant Acceleration

d

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- An object which is moving with a constant acceleration will cover larger and larger distances in successive equal time intervals. Its position time graph would appear as a curve.

Constant Positive Acceleration

v

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- An object which is moving with a constant acceleration will have a velocity time graph that is an upwardly sloping diagonal line. The y-intercept is the initial velocity of the object.

Constant Acceleration

a

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- An object which is moving with constant acceleration would graph as a horizontal line above the x-axis. The y-intercept would be equal to the value of the acceleration.

Constant Velocity

a

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- An object which is moving with either a constant positive or negative velocity would have no acceleration over the entire period of time since the velocity is not changing. So the graph would be a horizontal line along the x-axis.