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Kinematics is the part of physics in

which the study is restricted to motion
of the bodies without inquiring into the
cause of motion.
Particle : A particle is defined as matter
infinitesimally small in size. Thus, a
particle has only a definite position, but no
Body : A certain amount of matter limited
in all directions and consequently having a
finite size, shape, and occupying some
definite space is called a body.

Rest and Motion; Reference Frame

A body is said to be at rest when it does
not change its position with time. On the
other hand, if the position of a body
continuously changes with time, it is said
to be in motion.
The visualization of the state of rest or
motion of a body leads us to the concept
of Reference Frame.

State of motion requires a set of axis, w.r.t

which the state must be specified. E.g a
car is moving with velocity of 50 m/s w.r.t
the earth reference frame.
To locate the position of a body relative to
the reference body, a system of
coordinates fixed on the reference body is
constructed. This is known as reference
frame. E.g. the velocity of above car w.r.t
another car moving with velocity of 10 m/s
in same direction will be 40 m/s.

Basic Definitions
Position vector: It describes the
instantaneous position of a particle w.r.t
the chosen frame of reference. It is a
vector joining to the particle. If any time
(x,y,z) be the cartesian coordinates of the
particle then its position vector is given by
r = xi + yj + zk

Distance : the total length of the path

travelled by the particle in a given time
interval . It is a scalar quantity
Displacement : it is the vector joining the
initial to final position of a particle in a
given time interval. It is a vector quantity.
r = r2 r1
Note: Distance magnitude of

: instantaneous speed is defined


ad rate of change of distance with time.

For an interval of time, average speed is
defined as
<speed> =
a) Average velocity: in a time interval
average velocity is given by
<velocity> = vavg =
b) Instantaneous velocity : defined as
rate of change of the position vector.

rate of change of velocity is


called acceleration.
aavg =
Similarly instantaneous acceleration is
defined as

Kinematical equation of a particle

moving with constant acceleration

Motion under Gravity (Free

a body is dropped from some height

which is negligible in comparison to the
earth radius (6400 km), it falls under gravity
with a constant acceleration g (= 9.8 m/s2)
provided the air resistance is negligible.
The same set of three equations of
kinematics (for constant acceleration) are
used in solving such motion. Here we
replace the a with g and choose the y axis

Motion in a straight line

A particle may move with non uniform

acceleration along a straight line. In that

Vavg = aavg =
We can solve the problems using the
differential equations

Graphical Representation and

Equation of Motion
Graphs represent variation of a scalar
quantity w.r.t another scalar quantity. We take
variables of motion (r,v,a etc) then we plot
them in the form of graph to get a better
representation of how the variation is w.r.t
another variable. Following types of graphs :
i. Position time graph
ii. Velocity time graph
iii. Acceleration time graph

Position time graph

If we plot time t along the x axis and the
corresponding position from origin along y
axis, we get a graph which is called the
position-time graph. Let us consider the
following cases:
i. When the velocity is constant
ii. When particle is moving with a constant
iii. When particle have an accelerated

Velocity time graph

to the position-time graph the velocitySimilar

time graph gives us following information :

i. The instantaneous velocity
ii. Slope if the tangent to the curve gives the
instantaneous acceleration
iii. The area under the v-t curve gives total
displacement of the particle.

us consider the uniform acceleration motion.
The velocity-time graph will be a straight line. And
the slope of v-t curve gives the value of acceleration

Also the area under the curve gives us


Acceleration time graph

Acceleration-time graph gives the
information about the variation of
acceleration with time. Area under the a-t
curve gives the change in velocity of the
particle in the given time interval.
i. Motion under uniform acceleration
ii. Motion under uniform retardation
iii. Motion under variable acceleration

Two Dimensional Motion

over a horizontal plane

If a particle is projected from origin O, at an angle
from the horizontal, with velocity u then the
components in x and y directions are:
ux = ucos
uy = usin
u = ux + uy

Similarly the constant acceleration a is given as :

a = ax + ay
And then we can apply the equations of motion
separately in x and y directions to calculate different

Projectile Motion
When a particle is moving
under the only force of
gravity then that motion is
known as Projectile Motion.
The particle under this motion
is called projectile.
Gravity acts to influence the
vertical motion of the
projectile, thus causing a
vertical acceleration. The
horizontal motion of the
projectile is the result of the
tendency of any object in
motion to remain in motion at
constant velocity.

Projectile Motion Formula (trajectory formula) is given by

Vx is the velocity along x-axis,

Vxo is the initial velocity along x-axis,
Vy is the velocity along y-axis,
Vyo is the initial velocity along y-axis.
g is the acceleration due to gravity and t is the time taken.

Relative Motion
Relative velocity: the
position, distance,
displacement, velocity
and acceleration of a
particle depend on the
reference frame chosen.
stationary and the frame
S' is in motion.

A particle P is moving
and is observed from
two frames S and S'. The
frame S is