Kinematics is concerned with describing the way in which objects move.
An objects total change in position. If a man runs around an oval 400 meter track, stopping at the precise location he began, though he ran a distance of 400 meters, his total displacement was 0.
focuses on understanding why objects move the way they do.
The coordinate system with respect to which motion is being described.
A measure of how fast an object is moving.
The time-average of the velocity function over a specified time-interval.
(See formula below.)
The value of the velocity function at a particular instant in time. (See
The gravitational acceleration of objects near the earth's surface is the
for all objects regardless of mass and is given by the number
g = 9.8m/s2.
A function that outputs scalars (regular
numbers). Most common functions that you are probably familiar with are
A function that outputs vectors. This means that
while the domain of the function may consist of
scalars, the values in the range are all vectors.
A position function can be either scalar-valued (for motion in one
dimension) or vector-valued (for motion in two or three dimensions). At
each point in time its value represents the position of an object at that time.
This function is the time-derivative of the position function, and
gives the velocity of an object at each point in time.
This function is the time-derivative of the velocity function, and the
second time-derivative of the position function. It gives the value of the
acceleration of an object at each point in time.
The time-derivative of a function is a new function whose value at each
point represents the rate of change of the original function with respect
Simple harmonic motion
Periodic motion that can be described by special types of position functions.
Examples of simple harmonic motion include an object moving in a circle and a
ball bouncing up and down on a spring.
The average velocity for an object with position function x(t) over the
time interval (t0, t1).
||vavg = |
The instantaneous velocity at time t for an object with position function
||v(t) = |