Unit 6: 1Dimensional Kinematics
Problem Set D
Overview:
Problem Set D targets your ability to use kinematic equations to analyze the motion of objects.The set consists of 15 problems, 10 of which are routinestyle confidencebuilders and the remaining five involving complex, mulitstep analyses.
The Big Four
Kinematics (the topic of the current unit) is the science of describing the motion of objects. An object's motion can be described using words, diagrams, numbers, graphs and equations. The most commonly used of all equations are the four kinematic equations  affectionately known as the big four. These four equations allow a student to make a prediction of how fast (velocity and speed), how far (displacement and distance) or how much time is required of an object during a motion. The four equations are listed below.






where 
d = displacement 
t = time 

a = acceleration 

v_{o} = original or initial speed 

v_{f} = final speed 
Each of the above kinematic equations have four variables. The usefulness of the equations is that they allow a person to make a prediction about the value of one of the variables if given the value of three other variables. By knowing three, one can calculate a fourth. The problemsolving strategy used in this collection of problems will center around this idea. Each problem consists of a wordstory problem in which information about an object's motion is given. The goal is to carefully read through each story problem to identify at least three pieces of known information in order to calculate a fourth requested piece of information. Often the known information is explicitly stated  "A car moving with an initial velocity of 23.4 m/s...". At other times there are statements included within the word problem such as "Starting from rest, ...? or "...comes to a stop." Such statements imply that the initial velocity is 0 m/s and the final velocity is 0 m/s (respectively).
While the equations are extremely useful, there is one condition which must be met in order for the equations to be used. The object under study must have a constant and uniform acceleration. If an object changes its acceleration at a given point during the motion such that it accelerates at one rate and then later accelerates at a second rate, then the motion must be divided into two phases and each phase must be analyzed separately.
To be successful on this problem set, you will need to be able to:
Additional Readings/Study Aids:
The following pages from The Physics Classroom tutorial may serve to be useful in assisting you in the understanding of the concepts and mathematics associated with these problems.
View Sample Problem Set.
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