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Graphical Analysis of Motion

Name______________________
Graphical analysis of motion helps you picture the relationships among position, velocity, and
acceleration. If you have a graph of any one of the three variables with respect to time, you can find the
other two by determining the area under the curve or the slope of the curve. As you work with the graphs,
keep in mind what each axis represents. If you label your axes carefully, dimensional analysis will tell you
whether you have used the correct relationship. The units of the slope will be the units on the y-axis divided
by the units on the x-axis. If your graph is velocity (m/s) versus time (s), the slope will be m/s2, which is
acceleration. When you find the area, multiply the units of the y-axis by the units of the x-axis. When you
multiply velocity (m/s) by time (s) you get m which is position (distance traveled).
1. Identify the following:
____________________ a. the slope of a position-time graph
____________________ b. the slope of a velocity-time graph
____________________ c. the area under a velocity-time graph
2. A motor boat travels straight down a river at 40.0 m/s.
a. Construct a table showing the distance traveled for the boat at the end of each second for 10.0 s.
b. Use the data from the table to plot a Position-time graph (Position on y-axis).
c. Determine the slope of the line.
Time
(s)

Distance
(m)

d. Fill in the table below for the velocity of the boat at the end of each second for the first 10.0 s.
e. Use the data from the table to plot a velocity-time graph.
f. Find the distance traveled between the 5th and 10th seconds.

Time
(s)

Velocity
(m/s)

________distance traveled between the


5th and 10th seconds.

3. The following questions refer to the


graph below
Position VS TIME
P
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
m

40
30
20
10

10

15

20

25
30
Time ( s)

35

40

45

a) __________ How far does the object travel


between 5 & 10 seconds?
b) __________ How far does the object travel
between 15 & 20 seconds?
c) __________ During what time interval is the
velocity zero?
d) __________ What is the velocity between 10 &
15 seconds?
e) __________ Is the object accelerating during this
trip?

4. A velocity time graph of a moving car is shown below. Answer the following questions using the
graph. Some questions may have more than one answer.
__________ a. At what time was the car stopped?
__________ b. At what time did the car have the greatest velocity?
__________ c. What was the greatest velocity?
__________ d. At what time(s) was the car accelerating?

__________ e. How fast was the car going at 1.0 hr?


__________ f. What is the acceleration at 0.9 hr?
GRAPH OF VELOCITY VS TIME
80

VELOCITY
km/hr

60

40

20

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

1.1

Time (hr)

5. Car A starts from a corner just as Car B goes by at 80.0 km/hr. The velocitytime graphs of the cars
are shown below. Answer the following questions using the graphs. Watch out for time units!
__________ a. At what time are the cars going at the same speed?
__________ b. How far has car A traveled when they reach the same speed?
_________ c.***At what time does car A reach car B?**** Not as easy as it looks to answer!
_________ d. ***How far have each of the cars traveled when they are side by side.***
__________ e. Which car is ahead at 0.05 hr?
VELOCITY VERSUS TIME
120

V
E
L
O
80
C
I
T
Y
(km/hr)40

Car B

Car A

0.01

0.02

0.03
TIME (hr)

0.04

0.05

0.06

0.07

0.08

0.09

0.10

60

Position (m)

45

30

15

10

15

20
time (s)

25

a. What is the velocity between 20 and 25 seconds?


b. Is the velocity greater between 0 and 5 seconds or between 10 and 12 seconds?
c. What is the velocity between 15 and 20 seconds?
d. What is the velocity at 9 seconds?
e. During what time interval(s) does the object accelerate?
f. What is the displacement between 15 and 20 seconds?

30