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Physics I

Experiment No. 3

Rectilinear Motion
Aquino, Robi Carlin M.
Acua, Xavier John N.
Antonio, Mark Adrian D.
Bailon, Ryan Patrick M.
Balinoyos, Paulo M.
Bargan, Jizelle Ann S.
ZPH 124 3A
Prof. Bheim Llona



Rectilinear motion is another name for straight-line motion. This

type of motion describes the movement of a particle or a body. A body
is said to experience rectilinear motion if any two particles of the body
travel the same distance along two parallel straight lines. Given the
position of the particles, x (t), we can calculate the displacement,
velocity, and acceleration. These are important quantities to consider
when evaluating the kinematics of a problem. A common assumption,
which applies to numerous problems involving rectilinear motion, is
that acceleration is constant. With acceleration as constant we can
derive equations for the position, displacement, and velocity of a
particle, or body experiencing rectilinear motion.


Linear motion (also called rectilinear motion) is a motion along
a straight line, and can therefore be described mathematically using only
one spatial dimension. The linear motion can be of two types: uniform
linear motion with constant velocity or zero acceleration; non uniform
linear motion with variable velocity or non-zero acceleration.
Linear motion is the most basic of all motion. According to Newton's
first law of motion, objects that do not experience any net force will
continue to move in a straight line with a constant velocity until they are
subjected to a net force.
The motion in which all the particles of a body move through the
same distance in the same time is called translator motion. There are two
types of translator motions: rectilinear motion; curvilinear motion. Since
linear motion is a motion in a single dimension, the distance traveled by
an object in particular direction is the same as displacement. The SI unit of
displacement is the meter. If

is the initial position of an object and


the final position, then mathematically the displacement is given by:

The equivalent of displacement in rotational motion is the angular


measured in radian. The displacement of an object cannot

be greater than the distance. Consider a person travelling to work daily.

Overall displacement when he returns home is zero, since the person ends
up back where he started, but the distance travelled is clearly not zero.
Velocity is defined as the rate of change of displacement with respect
to time. The SI unit of velocity is

or meter per second.

Average velocity
The average velocity is the ratio of total displacement
over time interval

. Mathematically, it is given by;

is the time at which the object was at position
is the time at which the object was at position


Instantaneous velocity
The instantaneous velocity can be found by differentiating the
displacement with respect to time.

Speed is the absolute value of velocity i.e. speed is always positive.
The unit of speed is meter per second. If

is the speed then,

The magnitude of the instantaneous velocity is the instantaneous

Acceleration is defined as the rate of change of velocity with respect to
time. Acceleration is the second derivative of displacement i.e. acceleration
can be found by differentiating position with respect to time twice or
differentiating velocity with respect to time once. The SI unit of acceleration

or meter per second squared.


is the average acceleration and

velocity over the time interval

is the average

then mathematically,

The instantaneous acceleration is the limit of the ratio



approaches zero i.e.


Table 1


Table 2

1.25 s
1.44 s
1.55 s
1.61 s
2.21 s

Ave. Speed
80 cm/s
69.44 cm/s
64.52 cm/s
62.11 cm/s
45.25 cm/s




Ave. Speed

(cm/ s

1/3 L


0.64 s

52.08 cm/s

81.36 cm/ s

2/3 L


0.62 s

107.26 cm/s

173 cm/ s


0.62 s

163.94 cm/s

268 cm/ s

1. Determine the average speed of the marble in each trial by dividing the
distance it covered (length of the inclined plane) by the average time
interval. Does the average speed depend on the steepness of the inclined
plane? Explain the result.

2. Determine the average speed in Part B using the same computation in #1.

3. Determine the instantaneous speeds at the different marks using the formula

v av =

( v 0 +v )



is the initial speed and

acceleration is assumed to be inform and


is the final speed. The

= 0.

4. Compute for the average acceleration in each segment using the computed
instantaneous speeds. Explain your findings.



1. Differentiate between average velocity and average speed.
The average speed is the total linear distance covered divided by the time
taken to cover this distance. In contrast average velocity is the net
displacement of an object in a given time divided by the time taken. Thus
when a car travelling at speed 80 kilometers per hour travels in the north
south direction for one hour and south north direction in next hour it
covers a total linear distance of 160 kilometers in 2 hours. This gives an
average speed of 80 kilometers per hour. Now considering velocity, we
find that this car has reached, after travelling for two hours, the same
point from which it had started. Thus there is no net displacement in its
position. Therefore its average velocity is zero.

Av = ( 80

+ 802 2

= 113.14 km
Av =

113.14 km

= 56.57 km/h south west.

2. Under what circumstances is the magnitude of the average velocity equal

to the average speed? Explain.
The average speed is the total length of the path, divided by the time it
took travel the path. The average velocity is the straight-line distance
from the paths starting point, divided by the time it took to traverse the
path So, the average velocity and average speed will be identical when
the path is a straight line. If there is any curvature, the average velocity
will be less than the average speed.
3. Is the magnitude of the instantaneous velocity always equal to the
instantaneous speed? Explain.
Yes. Instantaneous velocity mean change of displacement in extremely
small amount time.


Instantaneous speed is the same expect

displacement change to distance. So, because of very small change in

time, magnitude of distance and displacement will be same for any
direction the object is moving. Suppose, the distance of our home to
market is 5km we bought the things and came back home total distance is
10km, total displacement is 0 km. Now if we differentiate both distance
and displacement with respect to time we get 0 as derivative of constant
value is 0.
4. What is meant by negative velocity? Negative Acceleration?
An object which moves backwards or in the negative direction has a
negative velocity. If the object is speeding up the its acceleration vector is
directed in the same direction as its motion (in this case, a negative

5. Is negative acceleration the same as deceleration? If NOT, differentiate

the two terms.
No, Deceleration means slowing down. Negative acceleration could mean
you are slowing down, or it could mean you are speeding up. It depends
on which direction your velocity is in. Negative and positive are just simply
directions. For example, if your velocity is in the positive direction, and
your acceleration is in the negative direction, you are decelerating
(slowing down) However, if velocity and acceleration are both in the
negative direction, you are speeding up. So, you cant necessarily say that
a negative acceleration is the same as deceleration.
6. Kate runs 200m, east in 20s and returns through the same path in only
18s. Determine the following:
a. Kates average speed during the entire trip.

b. Her average velocity during the entire trip.

c. Her average velocity during the return trip.

7. A cars velocity as a function of time is given by

a=10 m/ s

and b=1.2m/ s

v ( t )=a+b t 2


. Calculate (a) the average acceleration for

the time interval t = 0s to t=10s and (b) the instantaneous acceleration at

t=0s and at t=10s.