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Path of a body depends on forces and initial conditions( initial velocity ,etc)

Instantaneous velocity vector is tangential to physical path.

Average velocity is along a chord of the path i.e. along the displacement vector r.
Instantaneous acceleration has no direct relation to path.

Besides the above basic definitions, Equations of motion for constant acceleration are often used:
v = u + at

r = ut + at2

v2 = u2 + 2a.r

These are strictly vector equations.

All vector relations hold equally well in component form. As such any vector equation is equivalent to
three new scalar equations- one along each co-ordinate axes.
Orthogonal components are independent of each other. This implies that motion along a particular axis is
independent of motion along any other perpendicular axis. As such any general 2-D or 3-D motion can
be broken into 1-dimensional problems, and each axis motion can be separately dealt with.
In a general path problem, often we deal with acceleration vector by splitting into two components- one
tangential to path (tangential acceleration at), the other perpendicular to path (along normal, centripetal
acceleration ac).
at =

(rate of change of speed)

ac = v2/R (centripetal acceleration takes into account only the change in direction)

An acceleration component (say ax) can be written, using chain rule, as:

All motions taking place only under the effect of gravity are free fall problems. The acceleration in such
cases is constant and equal to g.
As such all problems, of particles either thrown upwards, downwards or at an angle (i.e. projectile) are
problems of free fall. All of them can be dealt with using the three Equations of Motion for Uniform
Acceleration in vector form.
All kinematic variables (r, v and a) must be specified with respect to some observer i.e. reference frame.
Unless otherwise specified, all parameters are taken with respect to ground reference frame.
Kinematics problems are often dealt with by changing reference frames. The basic vector definitions of
kinematic variables and vector relations for constant acceleration hold equally well in all reference
frames. (So velocity is still the derivative of displacement, only that they are taken relative to the chosen
While solving a problem from a certain reference frame (say B), first we bring that reference frame itself
to rest. Then analyze the motion of everything else (A), but taking into account that all vectors (r, v and
a) are now used with respect to this new reference frame (rAB, vAB, aAB). All problems of rain-man, river
boat, etc are simple applications of these.
The relative position/separation magnitude between two particles is an extremum (maximum
/minimum/constant) when their relative velocity component along the line joining them is zero. This
implies the either relative velocity vector is zero, or it is perpendicular to relative position vector.
o Different points along an inextensible string or rigid body, in general, have different velocities.
However, different particles have the same velocity component along the line joining them, since
relative separation between them does not change in magnitude (constant).
Problems on collision can be dealt with properly by changing reference frames. In the reference frame of
one of the particles, the other must pass through the origin of the reference frame.
For collision between projectiles, the relative acceleration is zero (since both have same acc. g). As such
on changing reference frame, the other appears to move in a straight line, with constant velocity (the
initial relative velocity).

ax = v