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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.

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.

Kinematics

Graphical Analysis

Displacement-time ( ) Velocity-time ( ) Acceleration-time ( )

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.

velocity acceleration

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

the positive direction increase in the positive direction

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

Kinematics

1) Without air resistance

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.

Kinematics

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.

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)

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