Even though we live in a three-dimensional world, it is useful to understand
the motion of objects in just one dimension, since many physical problems
can be reduced to this simpler case. For example, the motion of a falling
object is in essence a one-dimensional problem: the object moves in only
one direction (down). We will also find (in the next
Sparknote) that once we
have the formalism for motion in one dimension, it will be easy to
generalize our equations to two and three dimensions by replacing our
scalar-valued functions for position, velocity, and acceleration
with vector-valued ones.
This SparkNote will be divided into three parts. In the first
part we will discuss examples of
position functions, and then go on to show their relationship to
velocity and acceleration in the second
part. The third
part will consist of studying motion
with constant acceleration, including applications to everyday physical
phenomena such as the motion of objects in free fall.