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1B03 Physics, Mechanics and Waves

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Tutor: Dhruvin Hirpara

Kinematics, Motion Diagrams, Vectors

Vector quantity – A quantity that specifies a magnitude as well as a direction

Scalar quantity – A quantity that specifies just the magnitude

Distance – the physical distance traveled by a particle

Displacement – the difference in the final position and the initial position of the particle

Speed – The distance traveled per unit time (speed = total distance/total time) – a scalar quantity

Velocity – The change in displacement with respect to time. (ie. v = – a vector quantity

Acceleration – – a vector quantity

Kinematic Equations – relates velocity, acceleration, time and displacement (ONLY IF acceleration is constant):

v final = v initial + at OR a = vfinal – vinitial / t

d = (vinitial)(t) + 0.5at2 final - initial

(vfinal)2 = (vinitial)2 + 2ad

The acceleration due to gravity ag = 9.80 m/s2

The position vs time graph, velocity vs time graph and acceleration vs time graph are related:

The slope or derivative of the position vs time graph is

the velocity vs time graph. And the derivative of the

velocity is the acceleration vs time graph.

0 – tA

v is therefore a straight increasing line

a t is therefore a straight positive line

tA - tB

is increasing but at a constant rate

v is therefore a straight positive line

a is therefore a straight line at zero

tB - tC

is increasing but at a decreasing rate

v is therefore a straight decreasing line

a is therefore a straight negative line

tC - tD

v is still a straight decreasing line but touches 0 at tD

a is still a straight negative line

tD - tE

v is a straight decreasing line

a is a straight negative line until tE

tE - tF

v starts to increase but is still negative until tF

a spikes to a positive straight line then returns to 0

Motion Diagrams

The interval of time is the same for each new added picture of the car (eg. The first car is at t =0 sec, the second car is at t =

1 sec, the third car is at t =2 sec and so on).

In figure (a) the space between each car is the same and since the time intervals are the same, the velocity (which =

displacement/time) is constant.

In figure (b) the distance between each car is getting larger, so the velocity is increasing. The acceleration of the car (which

is defined as the velocity/time) remains constant and IN THE SAME DIRECTION as the velocity (because the change in

velocity is positive).

In figure (c) the distance between each car is getting smaller, so the velocity is decreasing. The acceleration remains

constant however this time it’s in the opposite direction of the velocity because the change in velocity is negative.

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