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Lesson 1: Describing Motion with Words

Introduction to the Language of Kinematics

Scalars and Vectors

Distance and Displacement

Speed and Velocity

Acceleration


Lesson 2: Describing Motion with Diagrams

Introduction to Diagrams

Ticker Tape Diagrams

Vector Diagrams


Lesson 3: Describing Motion with Position vs. Time Graphs

The Meaning of Shape for a p-t Graph

The Meaning of Slope for a p-t Graph

Determining the Slope on a p-t Graph


 

Lesson 4: Describing Motion with Velocity vs. Time Graphs

The Meaning of Shape for a v-t Graph

The Meaning of Slope for a v-t Graph

Relating the Shape to the Motion

Determining the Slope on a v-t Graph

Determining the Area on a v-t Graph

 

Lesson 5: Free Fall and the Acceleration of Gravity

Introduction to Free Fall

The Acceleration of Gravity

Representing Free Fall by Graphs

How Fast? and How Far?

The Big Misconception

 

Lesson 6: Kinematic Equations

The Kinematic Equations

Problem-Solving

Kinematic Equations and Free Fall

Sample Problems and Solutions

Kinematic Equations and Graphs

 

 

Lesson 1: Describing Motion with Words

Introduction to the Language of Kinematics

A typical physics course concerns itself with a variety of broad topics. One such topic is mechanics - the study of the motion of objects. The first six units of The Physics Classroom tutorial will involve an investigation into the physics of motion. As we focus on the language, principles, and laws which describe and explain the motion of objects, your efforts should center around internalizing the meaning of the information. Avoid memorizing the information; and avoid abstracting the information from the physical world which it describes and explains. Rather, contemplate the information, thinking about its meaning and its applications.

Kinematics is the science of describing the motion of objects using words, diagrams, numbers, graphs, and equations. Kinematics is a branch of mechanics. The goal of any study of kinematics is to develop sophisticated mental models which serve to describe (and ultimately, explain) the motion of real-world objects.

In this lesson, we will investigate the words used to describe the motion of objects. That is, we will focus on the language of kinematics. The hope is to gain a comfortable foundation with the the language which is used throughout the study of mechanics. The words listed below are used with regularity to describe the motion of objects. Your goal should be to become very familiar with their meaning. You may click on any word now to investigate its meaning or proceed with the lesson in the order listed at the bottom of this page.

 

Vectors, Scalars, Distance, Displacement, Speed, Velocity, Acceleration

 

 

 

Lesson 1: Describing Motion with Words

 

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