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Kinematics

Kinematics
Definitions
Term Definition
Distance Length of the path travelled by a body.
Distance of a body or a point, in a specified direction, from some
Displacement, s
reference point.
Rate of change of distance travelled by a body. or
Speed
Distance travelled per unit time.
Average Speed Total distance travelled divided by the time elapsed.
Rate of change of displacement. or
Velocity, v
Displacement per unit time.
Acceleration, a Rate of change of velocity.
Velocity of a free-falling body when the fore due to air resistance
Terminal velocity
is equal in magnitude to its weight.

Equations of Linear Motion


The following equations represent uniformly accelerated motion in a straight line.
S/N Equation Derivation
()
(1) = + From definition of acceleration: =

1
(2) = ( + ) From area under graph
2
(3) 2 = 2 + 2 From equations (1) and (2)

1
(4) = + 2 From equations (1) and (2)
2
These equations apply only if the motion takes place along a straight line and acceleration
is constant (i.e. air resistance is negligible).

If a and v are in the same direction, the velocitys magnitude is increasing and both the acceleration and velocity
have the same sign in the equation.

If a and v are in the opposite direction, the velocitys magnitude is decreasing and both the acceleration and
velocity have the opposite sign in the equation.

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Kinematics

Graphical Analysis
Displacement-time ( ) Velocity-time ( ) Acceleration-time ( )

Gradient represents velocity Gradient represents acceleration

y-intercept = initial displacement y-intercept = initial velocity y-intercept = initial acceleration

When two curves coincide, the two When two curves coincide, the two When two curves coincide, the two
bodies have the same bodies have the same velocity at bodies have the same acceleration
displacement at that time. that time. at that time.

Straight lines imply uniform Straight lines imply uniform



velocity acceleration

Curved lines imply non-uniform


Curved lines imply acceleration
acceleration
Average velocity is the gradient of Average acceleration is the
the straight line connecting the gradient of the straight line
endpoints of a curve connecting the endpoints of a curve
Instantaneous velocity is the Instantaneous acceleration is the
gradient of the line tangent to a gradient of the line tangent to a
curve at any point curve at any point

Positive gradient implies motion in Positive gradient implies a velocity



the positive direction increase in the positive direction

Negative gradient implies a


Negative gradient implies motion
velocity increase in the negative
in the negative direction
direction
Zero gradient implies body is at Zero gradient implies motion with Zero gradient implies motion with
rest constant velocity constant acceleration

Area under curve gives the change Area under curve gives the change

in displacement in velocity

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Kinematics

Motion of bodies falling in a uniform gravitational field with air resistance


1) Without air resistance

Take direction downwards as positive.

Assuming air resistance is negligible, the only force acting on the body during its motion is its weight, W.
This causes it to experience a uniform acceleration.

Thus, the gradient of the velocity-time graph is constant throughout the entire motion of the body.

The body is said to undergo free fall.

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Kinematics

2) With air resistance

Take direction downwards as positive.

Since air resistance is not negligible, both air resistance and the bodys weight act downwards as the body
moves upwards. Its speed will decrease at a rate greater than 9.81 ms-2.

This results in a shorter time taken for the body to reach maximum height, as compared to the case without air
resistance. The maximum height is also lower.

At the highest point, the body is momentarily at rest. Air resistance becomes zero and the only force acting on
the body is its weight. Its acceleration at this point = acceleration due to gravity alone = 9.81 ms-2.

As the body falls, air resistance (a drag force) opposes its weight, causing the downward acceleration to be less
than 9.81 ms-2. However, as air resistance increases with speed, it eventually equals the bodys weight, but acts
in opposite direction.

From this point, no resultant force acts on the falling body as it falls with constant speed, known as the terminal
velocity.

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Kinematics

Projectile Motion
Resolve vertical (y-axis) and horizontal (x-axis) components separately using the equations of motion.
Displacement, s Initial velocity, u Final velocity, v Acceleration, a Time, t


1
x-axis = + 2 = +
2 (Applies when a force in the
x-direction is present)

1 = +
= + 2
2

2 = 2 +
y-axis ( = 0 if
projectiles start ( = for falling body)
and end points are ( = 0 at
the same) maximum height)

Page 5 of 5 SIT PHYSICS QUEST