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CHAPTER 2:
Kinematics of Linear Motion

Unit Physics KML
2
3
At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
 Define and distinguish between
i. Distance and displacement
ii. Speed and velocity
iii. Instantaneous velocity,average velocity and uniform
velocity
iv. Instantaneous acceleration,average aceleration and
uniform aceleration

 Sketch graphs of displacement-time, velocity-time and
acceleration-time.
 Determine the distance travelled,displacement,velocity
and acceleration from appropriate graphs.
Learning Outcome:
2.1 Linear Motion
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2.0 Kinematics of Linear motion
 is defined as the studies of motion of an objects
without considering the effects that produce the
motion.
 There are two types of motion:
 Linear or straight line motion (1-D)
 with constant (uniform) velocity
 with constant (uniform) acceleration, e.g. free fall
motion
 Projectile motion (2-D)
 x-component (horizontal)
 y-component (vertical)
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2.1 Linear motion (1-D)
2.1.1 Distance, d
 scalar quantity.
 is defined as the length of actual path between two
points.
 For example :




 The length of the path from P to Q is 25 cm.
P
Q
6
 vector quantity
 is defined as the distance between initial point and
final point in a straight line.
 The S.I. unit of displacement is metre (m).
2.1.2 Displacement,
s

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Example 1:
An object P moves 20 m to the east after that 10 m to the
south and finally moves 30 m to west. Determine the
displacement of P relative to the original position.
N
E
W
S
O
P
u
u
20 m
10 m
10 m 20 m
8
Solution :

The magnitude of the displacement is given by


and its direction is


west - south the or to 45
10
10
tan

=
|
.
|

\
|
=
÷1
θ
m 14.1 10 10
2 2
= + = OP
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2.1.3 Speed, v
 is defined the rate of change of distance.
 scalar quantity.
 Equation:

interval time
distance of change
speed=
Δt
Δd
v =
2.1.4 Velocity,
v

o is a vector quantity.
o The S.I. unit for velocity is m s
-1
.

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Average velocity, v
av
 is defined as the rate of change of displacement.
 Equation:








 Its direction is in the same direction of the change in
displacement.
interval time
nt displaceme of change
=
av
v
Δt
Δs
v
av
=
1 2
1 2
av
t t
s s
v
÷
÷
=
11
Instantaneous velocity, v

 is defined as the instantaneous rate of change of
displacement.
 Equation:






 An object is moving in uniform velocity if
t
s
0 t
v
A
A
÷ A
=
limit
constant =
dt
ds
dt
ds
v =
12











 Therefore



Q
s
t
0
s
1
t
1
The gradient of the tangent to the curve at point Q
= the instantaneous velocity at time, t = t
1
Gradient of s-t graph = velocity

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 vector quantity
 The S.I. unit for acceleration is m s
-2
.

Average acceleration, a
av
 is defined as the rate of change of velocity.
 Equation:







 Its direction is in the same direction of motion.
 The acceleration of an object is uniform when the magnitude
of velocity changes at a constant rate and along fixed
direction.
2.1.5 Acceleration,
a

interval time
velocity of change
=
av
a
1 2
1 2
av
t t
v v
a
÷
÷
=
Δt
Δv
a
av
=
14
Instantaneous acceleration, a

 is defined as the instantaneous rate of change of velocity.
 Equation:






 An object is moving in uniform acceleration if

t
v
0 t
a
A
A
÷ A
=
limit
constant =
dt
dv
2
2
dt
s d
dt
dv
a = =
15
Deceleration, a

 is a negative acceleration.
 The object is slowing down meaning the speed of the object
decreases with time.









 Therefore
v
t
Q
0
v
1
t
1
The gradient of the tangent to the curve at point Q
= the instantaneous acceleration at time, t = t
1
Gradient of v-t graph = acceleration

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Displacement against time graph (s-t)

2.1.6 Graphical methods
s
t
0
s
t
0
(a) Uniform velocity
(b) The velocity increases with time
Gradient = constant
Gradient increases
with time
(c)
s
t 0
Q
R
P
The direction of
velocity is changing.
Gradient at point R is negative.
Gradient at point Q is zero.
The velocity is zero.
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Velocity versus time graph (v-t)











 The gradient at point A is positive – a > 0(speeding up)
 The gradient at point B is zero – a= 0
 The gradient at point C is negative – a < 0(slowing down)
t
1
t
2
v
t
0
(a)
t
2
t
1
v
t
0
(b)
t
1
t
2
v
t
0
(c)
Uniform velocity
Uniform
acceleration
Area under the v-t graph = displacement
B
C
A
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 From the equation of instantaneous velocity,





Therefore




dt
ds
v =
} }
= vdt ds
}
=
2
1
t
t
vdt s
graph under the area ded sha t v s ÷ =
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A toy train moves slowly along a straight track according to the
displacement, s against time, t graph in figure 2.1.









a. Explain qualitatively the motion of the toy train.
b. Sketch a velocity (cm s
-1
) against time (s) graph.
c. Determine the average velocity for the whole journey.
d. Calculate the instantaneous velocity at t = 12 s.
Example 2 :
0
2 4 6 8 10 12 14
t (s)
2
4
6
8
10
s (cm)
Figure 2.1
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Solution :
a. 0 to 6 s : The train moves at a constant velocity of
0.68 cm s
÷1
.
6 to 10 s : The train stops.
10 to 14 s : The train moves in the same direction at a
constant velocity of 1.50 cm s
÷1
.
b.

0
2 4 6 8 10 12 14
t (s)
0.68
1.50
v (cm s
÷1
)
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Solution :
c.






d.

1 2
1 2
t t
s s
v
av
÷
÷
=
0 14
0 10
÷
÷
=
av
v
1
s cm 714 . 0
÷
=
av
v
s 14 to s 10 from velocity average = v
1 2
1 2
t t
s s
v
÷
÷
=
10 14
4 10
÷
÷
= v
1
s cm 50 . 1
÷
= v
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A velocity-time (v-t) graph in figure 2.2 shows the motion of a lift.








a. Describe qualitatively the motion of the lift.
b. Sketch a graph of acceleration (m s
-1
) against time (s).
c. Determine the total distance travelled by the lift and its
displacement.
d. Calculate the average acceleration between 20 s to 40 s.
Example 3 :
0
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 t (s)
-4
-2
2
4
v (m s
÷1
)
Figure 2.2
40 45 50
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Solution :
a. 0 to 5 s : Lift moves upward from rest with a constant
acceleration of 0.4 m s
÷2
.
5 to 15 s : The velocity of the lift increases from 2 m s
÷1
to
4 m s
÷1
but the acceleration decreasing to
0.2 m s
÷2
.
15 to 20 s : Lift moving with constant velocity of 4 m s
÷1
.
20 to 25 s : Lift decelerates at a constant rate of 0.8 m s
÷2
.
25 to 30 s : Lift at rest or stationary.
30 to 35 s : Lift moves downward with a constant acceleration
of 0.8 m s
÷2
.
35 to 40 s : Lift moving downward with constant velocity
of 4 m s
÷1
.
40 to 50 s : Lift decelerates at a constant rate of 0.4 m s
÷2

and comes to rest.
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Solution :
b.
t (s) 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
0
-0.4
-0.2
0.2
0.6
a (m s
÷2
)
-0.6
-0.8
0.8
0.4
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Solution :
c. i.
0
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 t (s)
-4
-2
2
4
v (m s
÷1
)
40 45 50
A
1
A
2
A
3
A
4
A
5
v-t of graph under the area distance Total =
5 4 3 2 1
A A A A A + + + + =
( )( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) 4 5 15
2
1
4 5
2
1
4 10 5
2
1
10 4 2
2
1
5 2
2
1
distance Total + + + + + + + =
m 115 distance Total =
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Solution :
c. ii.






d.
v-t of graph under the area nt Displaceme =
5 4 3 2 1
A A A A A + + + + =
( )( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) 4 5 15
2
1
4 5
2
1
4 10 5
2
1
10 4 2
2
1
5 2
2
1
÷ + + ÷ + + + + + =
m 15 nt Displaceme =
1 2
1 2
t t
v v
a
av
÷
÷
=
20 40
4 4
÷
÷ ÷
=
av
a
2
s m 4 . 0
÷
÷ =
av
a
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Figure 2.3
1. Figure 2.3 shows a velocity versus time graph for an object
constrained to move along a line. The positive direction is to
the right.








a. Describe the motion of the object in 10 s.
b. Sketch a graph of acceleration (m s
-2
) against time (s) for
the whole journey.
c. Calculate the displacement of the object in 10 s.
ANS. : 6 m

Exercise 2.1 :
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2. A train pulls out of a station and accelerates steadily for 20 s
until its velocity reaches 8 m s
÷1
. It then travels at a constant
velocity for 100 s, then it decelerates steadily to rest in a further
time of 30 s.
a. Sketch a velocity-time graph for the journey.
b. Calculate the acceleration and the distance travelled in
each part of the journey.
c. Calculate the average velocity for the journey.
Physics For Advanced Level, 4
th
edition, Jim Breithaupt, Nelson
Thornes, pg.15, no. 1.11
ANS. : 0.4 m s
÷2
,0 m s
÷2
,-0.267 m s
÷2
, 80 m, 800 m, 120 m;
6.67 m s
÷1
.
Exercise 2.1 :