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PH 103, Fall 2008

Second Week: Motion in One Dimension


The location of a particle in space, or its position, at some time t is one of its important physical properties. This quantity may vary with time. For motion in one dimension we denote it by x (t ). Consider going for a leisurely walk on the road just outside your house. You first go the right for half an hour at 2.4km / hr , return to your house and continue in the opposite direction for another 15 minutes and finally return home. If we assume that you maintained constant speed throughout your walk and take the displacement in the right direction as positive then the schematic sketch in Fig. 2.1(a) would represent your walk. For varying speed such a sketch might look like that shown in Fig. 2.1(b).

Displacement in km kmkmkm

t1

Time in hours

Fig. 2.1(a) t 2

Time in hours

Fig. 2.1(b) Displacement and Distance; Average Velocity and Average Speed: In one dimension the magnitude of the displacement x (t ) at time t is the shortest distance from the original position along with appropriate sign, and the distance d (t ) is the total distance covered along the path up to time t . For example in Fig 2.1 (a) x (t1 ) and d (t1 ) are the same but x (t 2 ) d (t 2 ) . We define the average velocity v12 as the ratio of the displacement during the time interval t1 to , or the interval t 2 - t1 : x (t2 ) x(t1 ) x v12 = = (2.1) t2 t1 t In Fig.2.1 (a); for t1 =5 min, x (t1 ) = 0.2 km, and for t 2 = 45 min, x(t 2 ) = 0.8 km, giving,
v12 = x(t 2 ) x(t1) t 2 t1 = 0 .6 0 .2 0 .4 3 60km / hr = km / hr = 0.6km / hr 45 5 2

(2.2)

And the value of the average speed s12 during the same time interval is given by,
s12 = d (t 2 ) d (t1) t 2 t1 = d 1.8 0.2 1.6 3 = 60km / hr = km / hr = 2.4km / hr (2.3) t 45 5 2

From Fig. 2.1 (a) and Eq. (2.1) it also follows that the average velocity v12 is also given by the slope of the line joining the points { x (t1 ) , t1 } and { x (t 2 ) , t 2 }. As

we move this interval along the time axis of Fig. 2.1 (a) or Fig. 2.1 (b) The angle which this line makes with the axis changes and with its slope changes from positive to negative, becoming zero in between at the maximum, back to positive after becoming again zero at the minimum of the curve of Fig. 2.1 (b) Question 2.1: Calculate at least four other values of v12 and s12 by trying different values of t1 and t 2 in Fig. 1.1 (a) and Fig. 1.1 (b). Note 2.1: As is clear from Eqs. (2.2) and (2.3) the average velocity is not necessarily equal to the magnitude of the average speed. Instantaneous Velocity and Instantaneous Speed: As we bring t1 and t 2 t in Eq. (2.2) becomes smaller and closer and closer together the value of x changes, also eventually becoming smaller and smaller. smaller while that of t and x In the limit when t1 and t 2 are infinitesimally closer together both become vanishingly small. The instantaneous velocity is the average velocity at that the instant t1 , which we will now refer to as v(t ) . From Eq. (2.1), x (t 2 ) x (t1) x dx(t ) v (t ) = lim v12 = lim = lim = (2.4) t 2 t1 dt t 2 t1 t 2 t1 t 0 t Referring to our earlier discussion we note that as we bring t1 and t 2 closer and closer together the line joining the points { x (t1 ) , t1 } and { x (t 2 ) , t 2 } tend to become tangent to the curve in Fig. 2.1 (b) at the point { x (t1 ) , t1 }. Therefore the instantaneous velocity can also be interpreted as the slope of the tangent to the displacement verses time curve at the time t . By increasing the value of t from zero we again can see that the value of v(t ) changes from positive to negative, becoming zero in between, etc. Note 2.2: The instantaneous speed is always equal to the absolute value, or the magnitude of the instantaneous velocity. Q 2.2: Given that x(t ) = t + 2t 2 + t 3 , a) Sketch x (t ) as a function of. b) Find an expression for v(t ) and give its sketch as a function of t . c) Calculate the values of v(t ) for t = -1, -1/3, 0, 1 d) Check if your results are consistent with the qualitative reasoning in the paragraph preceding Note 2.2. Average and Instantaneous Acceleration : Using arguments very similar to those used in deriving Eq. (2.1) and Eq. (2.4) we may write an expression for the average acceleration and instantaneous acceleration as follows; v(t 2 ) v(t1) v a12 = = (2.5) t 2 t1 t

a (t ) = lim a12 = lim


t 2 t1 t 2 t1

v(t 2 ) v(t1 ) v(t ) dv(t ) = lim = t 2 t1 t dt t 0

(2.6)

Sketches of v(t ) as a function of t could also look very similar to those of v(t ) shown in Figs. 2.1 (a) and (b). Using such graphical representation we will see that the average acceleration a12 would correspond to the slope of the line joining the points { v(t1 ) , t1 } and { v(t 2 ) , t 2 } on such a sketch and the instantaneous acceleration a (t ) would correspond to the slope of the tangent to such a curve at the point { v(t1 ) , t1 }. Q 2.3: a) Using the expression for v(t ) derived in question 2.1 (b) find an expression for a (t ) and also give its sketch. b) Calculate the values of a (t ) for t = -2/3, 0 and 2/3 and check if your quantities results are consistent with the quantitative reasoning hinted in the above paragraph. c) Give a sketch of a (t ) as a function of t . Summary: The following is a summary of our discussions during this week. Displacement x (t ) Average velocity v12 during the time interval t1 to t 2 ; x (t2 ) x(t1 ) x v12 = = (2.1) t2 t1 t Average acceleration a12 during the time interval t1 to t 2 ; v(t 2 ) v (t1) v a12 = = (2.5) t 2 t1 t Instantaneous velocity v(t ) at time t dx (t ) v (t ) = (2.4) dt Instantaneous acceleration at ) at time t
dv(t ) d 2 x(t ) a(t ) = = dt dt 2

(2.6)

Motion in One Dimension with Constant Acceleration : Given an expression for the acceleration and ideas of simple integration we can now derive expressions for velocity and displacement in terms of the acceleration a from Eqs (2.4) and (2.6). In particular for constant a , using Eq. (2.6) we get;
dv(t ) = a , or dt dv = adt

Integrating both sides of the above equation gives,


v0

dv = adt = a dt
0 0

Where v 0 is the value of the velocity at time t = 0 , and v is its value at time t , and a , being constant has been taken out of the integration sign. The above very straightforward integration yields, v v 0 = at , or v = v 0 + at (2.7) Similarly using Eq. (2.4) we get,
dx (t ) = v (t ) , or dt

Here x0 is the value of x at time t = 0 . Substituting the value of v(t ) from Eq. (2.7) in the above equation we get,
x0

x0

dx = v(t )dt
0 x t t t

dx = (v0 + at )dt = v0 dt + atdt


0 0 0 x t t t t

Both v 0 and a , being constant, can be taken out of the sign of integration in the above equation giving,
x0

dx = v
0

dt + atdt = v 0 dt + a tdt
0 0 0

As before the integral on the left and the first integral on the right are very straight forward and the second integral is also not difficult. Therefore,
1 2 at , or 2 1 x(t ) = x 0 + v 0 t + at 2 2 x (t ) x0 = v 0 t +

(2.8)

Q2.4 Reaction Time: If we suddenly see an obstacle in our way then the time we take to react to it and avoid it is known as the Reaction Time. It can be measured by letting go a ruler vertically through our two fingers and catching it again as suddenly as we can. (a) Measure the distance through which the ruler falls in between your fingers and calculate your reaction time with help of Eq. (2.7). Imagine that you suddenly see a something on the road in front of you while driving at a constant speed of 120 km/hr on the Motorway. (b) Using your reaction time that you measured in part (a), calculate the distance you will cover before slamming on your brakes. (c) Assuming that you come to a complete rest in 100 m after applying your brakes, calculate the deceleration of your car and compare it to g , the acceleration due to gravity.

(d) How far the object should have been in front of you if you were to miss hitting it? Q2.5: Consider throwing a ball vertically upward. a) Sketch its path while going up and coming back to its original location and indicate the forces acting on it. b) Is the time it takes to go up is the same as the time it takes to come down? Why or why not? c) Measure the time of its round trip. d) Use this time and Eqs. (2.7) and (2.8) to calculate, (i) the maximum height it reached; (ii) the initial velocity with which it was thrown upward. e) Give an estimate of the error in your measured and the corresponding error your calculated quantities. Q2.6: Using the basic equations; Eqs. (2.7) and (2.8) derive the following additional useful equation describing motion in one dimension with constant acceleration.
2 v 2 v0 = 2a ( x x 0 ) 1 ( x x 0 ) = (v + v 0 ) 2 1 ( x x0 ) = vt at 2 2

(2.9) (2.10) (2.11)

Home Work: Attempt the following questions/problems given at the end of Chapter 2 of HRW, 8th Ed. Q2, Problems 3,9,11,17,19,25,35, 37,39, 41,51,53,57,63 Note: Need a volunteer, who can help me complete the graphs given above!!!