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# CHAPTER 2

Kinematics

## 2013 Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore) Private Limited

Chapter 2 Kinematics

2.1

2.2

2.3

Graphs of Motion

2.4

## 2.1 Distance and Displacement

Learning Outcome
At the end of this section, you should be able to:
understand and distinguish between scalar and
vector quantities.

## 2.1 Distance and Displacement

Scalars and Vectors
Scalars and vectors are two types of physical
quantities.
Scalar quantities
Have only magnitude

Vector quantities
Have both magnitude and
direction

Examples include
Examples include distance,
displacement, velocity,
speed, mass, energy and time
acceleration and force

## How is distance different

from displacement?

## 2.1 Distance and Displacement

Distance versus Displacement
Distance
Total length covered by moving object,
along the path taken
Direction of motion does not matter
SI unit: metre (m)

What is the
distance
travelled from A
to B?

5 km

## Distance travelled by car:

either 7 km
or 10 km

7 km
10 km

Displacement
Straight-line distance covered by
moving object, regardless of path
taken
Direction needs to be specified,
relative to a reference point
SI unit: metre (m)

B
N

What is the
displacement?

Displacement of car:
5 km (due east of A)

## 2.1 Distance and Displacement

What if the object moves back to A along the same path? (i.e. A B
A)

## Distance versus Displacement

Distance
Total length covered by moving
object, along the path taken
Direction of motion does not matter
SI unit: metre (m)

Displacement
Straight-line distance covered by
moving object, regardless of path
taken
Direction needs to be specified,
relative to reference point
SI unit: metre (m)

5 km 5 km

## What is the new

distance?
Distance travelled by car:
either 14 km
or 20 km

7 km + 7 km
10 km + 10 km

## What is the new

displacement?

Displacement of car:
0 km (back at A)

Question

1m
1m

## (a) What is the

distance travelled
from A to F?
A

## (b) What is the

displacement from
A to F?
What is negative
displacement?

## 2.1 Distance and Displacement

Positive and Negative Displacement
For an object moving in a straight line, assign one
direction from the reference point as positive.
The opposite direction is then negative.
Positivenegative directions are assigned for convenience.
Example
C

2 km

5 km 5 km

Displacement of car
= 2 km (or 2 km due west of A)

Chapter 2 Kinematics

2.1

2.2

2.3

Graphs of Motion

2.4

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this section, you should be able to:
distinguish between speed and velocity;
find average speed using distance travelled ;
time taken
state what uniform acceleration is;
calculate the value of an acceleration using
change in velocity
;
time taken
interpret examples of non-uniform acceleration.

What is Speed?

time taken

## It is a scalar quantity (like distance).

SI unit: metre per second (m s1)

## Speed = Average Speed?

The term speed that we use is usually the average
speed, which assumes that the object travels at the
same speed throughout the entire distance.
Average speed = total distance travelled
total time taken
In reality, the speed may change from moment to
moment, throughout the distance travelled.

## The Triangle Method

relationship between speed (v), distance (d) and time (t).

d
v

## The Triangle Method

relationship between speed (v), distance (d) and time (t).

d = vt
d
v

## The Triangle Method

relationship between speed (v), distance (d) and time (t).

d = vt

d
v

v= d
t

## The Triangle Method

relationship between speed (v), distance (d) and time (t).

d = vt
d
v

v= d
t

t
t= d
v

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Worked Example
A bike travels at a constant speed of 10.0 m s1. It takes
2000 s to travel from Jurong to East Coast. Determine the
distance between the two locations.
Jurong

Solution
Speed v = 10 m s1
Time t = 2000 s
Distance d = vt
= (10 m s1)(2000 s)
= 20 000 m or 20 km

East Coast

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Worked Example
Tom travels 105 km in 2.5 hours before stopping for a half-hour
lunch. He then continues another 55 km for an hour. What was
the average speed of his journey in
(a) km h1?
(b) m s1?

Solution
total distance
total time
= (105 + 55) km = 40 km h1
(2.5 + 0.5 + 1) h

## (a) Average speed =

(b) 40 km h1 = 40 km
1h
3
= (40)(10 ) m = 11.1 m s1
(1)(60)(60) s

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

What is Velocity?

## Velocity is the rate of change of displacement.

Velocity = displacement (linear distance)
time taken

## It is a vector quantity (like displacement).

SI unit: metre per second (m s1)

URL

What is the
difference between
speed and velocity?

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Remember displacement
is also a vector quantity?

## Velocity as a Vector Quantity

Velocity has both magnitude and direction.
Velocity measures speed in a specified direction.
Constant speed in same direction = constant velocity
Constant speed, direction changed = velocity changed
Example
N
Speed : 5 m s1
Direction: East
Velocity : 5 m s1 east

Speed : 5 m s1
Direction: North
Velocity : 5 m s1 north

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Average Velocity
It is the average rate of change of displacement
for any time interval.
Average velocity = total displacement
total time taken

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Worked Example
A car takes half an hour to travel 7
km from A to B. What is its
(a) average speed in km h1?
(b) average velocity in km h1?

5 km
7 km

Solution
(a) Average speed
=
=
=

total time taken
d
t
7 km
= 14 km h1
0.5 h

## (b) Taking due east of point A as

positive, average velocity
=
=
=

total displacement
total time taken
s
t
5 km
= 10 km h1
0.5 h

(Part 1/3)

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Worked Example
The car takes another half an hour
to move back to A along the same A
path. What is its
(a) new average speed?
(b) new average velocity?

5 km 5 km
7 km + 7 km
+

Solution
(a) Average speed
=
=
=

total time taken
d
t
14 km
= 14 km h1
1h

## (b) Taking due east of point A as

positive, average velocity
=
=
=

total displacement
total time taken
s
t
0 km
= 0 km h1
1h

(Part 2/3)

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Worked Example
The car takes another 15 minutes to reach point C. What is
its average velocity?
C

2 km

5 km 5 km

Solution
Taking due east of point A as positive,
average velocity
total displacement
total time taken
= s
t

Remember, velocity
can be negative!

= 2 km
1.25 h

= 1.6 km h1

Can we have
negative speed too?

(Part 3/3)

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Question
A truck makes a delivery trip from town A to town B
in 15 minutes, and then from town B to town C in
45 minutes. The distances between the towns are
shown on the map. Determine the average velocity
for the entire journey (from towns A to C).
A
30 km
B

50 km

40 km

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

What is Acceleration?

## Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity.

Acceleration = change in velocity = v
time taken

## It is a vector quantity (like displacement and velocity).

SI unit: metre per second per second (m s2)

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

What is Acceleration?
An object accelerates when its velocity changes.
Example
N
Speed

: 5 m s1

Direction: East

Velocity : 5 m s1 east

Change in speed

Change in direction

Speed

Speed

: 10 m s1

: 5 m s1

## Change in speed and

direction

Direction: East

Direction: North

Speed

Velocity : 10 m s1 east

Velocity : 5 m s1 north

Direction: North

: 10 m s1

Velocity : 10 m s1 north

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Acceleration versus Deceleration
Acceleration
Occurs when

Deceleration
Refers only to when
velocity decreases

velocity increases
(i.e. positive acceleration), Also called retardation
or
velocity decreases
(i.e. negative acceleration)

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Uniform Acceleration
Uniform acceleration is the constant rate of change
of velocity.
Acceleration a = v u = v
tv tu
t
where u = initial velocity;
v = final velocity;
tu = time at which an object is at initial velocity u;
tv = time at which an object is at final velocity v;
v = change in velocity;
t = time interval between tu and tv.

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Uniform Acceleration
Uniform acceleration occurs when the change (increase
or decrease) in velocity per unit time is the same.
Positive, uniform
acceleration

Velocity
increases at
constant rate

Negative, uniform
acceleration

Velocity
decreases at
constant rate

+20 m s1

0 m s1

+20 m s1

40 m s1

20 m s1

Velocity
Change

+20 m s1

60 m s1

Velocity
Time/s

20 m s1

60 m s1

20 m s1

40 m s1

Velocity
Change

20 m s1

20 m s1

0 m s1

Velocity
Time/s

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Worked Example
The velocity of a car changes from 15 m s1 to 10 m s1
in 1.2 s. Determine its acceleration.

Solution
Acceleration a = v
t
vu
=
tv t u
=
= 4.2 m s2

(10 15) m s1
1.2 s
The car is slowing down, so
acceleration should be negative.

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Worked Example
A stationary truck accelerates with an acceleration of
1 m s2 for 15 seconds. Determine the final velocity.

Solution
Given: initial velocity u = 0 m s1
acceleration a = 1 m s2
time taken t = 15 s
a = v = v u
t
t
v = at + u
= (1 m s2)(15 s) + 0 m s1
= 15 m s1

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Non-uniform Acceleration
Non-uniform acceleration occurs when the change (increase
or decrease) in velocity per unit time is not the same.
+30 m s1

0 m s1

+20 m s1

30 m s1

20 m s1

60 m s1

50 m s1

10 m s1

40 m s1

Velocity
Change

+10 m s1

60 m s1

Velocity
Change

30 m s1

30 m s1

Velocity
Time/
s

0 m s1

Velocity
Time/
s

## 2.2 Speed, Velocity and Acceleration

Question
Describe the motion of the car below, in terms of its
speed and acceleration.
+30 m s1

10 m s1

20 m s1

40 m s1

Velocity
Change

+40 m s1

20 m s1

60 m s1

Velocity
Time/
s

Chapter 2 Kinematics

2.1

2.2

2.3

Graphs of Motion

2.4

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this section, you should be able to:
plot and interpret a displacementtime graph;
plot and interpret a velocitytime graph;
deduce information about motion from the shape of a
displacementtime graph;
deduce information about motion from the shape of a
velocitytime graph;
determine displacement by calculating the area under
a velocitytime graph.

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
(Object at Rest)
Displacement/m

Time/s

Displacement/m

75

75

75

75

75

75

Velocity/m s1

s
Starting
point O

## Graph is a horizontal line (zero gradient)

Displacement is constant for every second

Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
(Object at Uniform (Constant) Velocity)
Displacement/m

Time/s
Displacement/m
Velocity/m s

25

50

75

100

125

25

25

25

25

25

Time/s

## Graph is a straight line with constant gradient

Displacement increases by 25 m every second

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
(Object at Increasing (Non-uniform) Velocity)
Displacement/m

Time/s
Displacement/m
Velocity/m s

20

45

80

125

10

15

20

25

Time/s

## Graph has an increasing gradient

Velocity increases

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
(Object at Decreasing (Non-uniform) Velocity)
Displacement/m

Displacement/m

45

80

105

120

125

45

40

35

30

25

Velocity/m s1

Time/s

Time/s

## Graph has a decreasing gradient

Velocity decreases

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
Velocity is given by the gradient of a
displacementtime graph.
Displacement/m

s
t
Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
(Instantaneous Velocity of Object)
Displacement/m

Instantaneous velocity

t2

d1
6

d2

10 11

12

t1

At t = 5 s, instantaneous velocity is
s1
(100 0) m
1
=
=
20
m
s
t1
(7.5 2.5) s

## describes how fast an

object is at a particular
time;

## equals the gradient of the

Time/s tangent, at a specific time
on the displacementtime
graph.

At t = 10 s, instantaneous velocity is
s2
= (290 125) m = 41.25 m s1
t2
(12 8) s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
(Instantaneous Velocity versus Average Velocity)
Displacement/m

(220,10.3)

(80,6.7)

At a specific
time

Time/s
0

s
t

=
(220 80) m
(10.3 6.7) s
38.89 m s1

8 8.5 9

10 11

12

For a time
interval

## Average velocity after t = 8.5 s is

<v> = total displacement
total time taken
150 m
=
= 17.65 m s1
8.5 s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
(Deducing the Motion of an Object)
For a car moving on straight road, assign

## - its reference point: at X (0 m);

- its direction: taking due east of X as
positive.
The gradient of the tangent at each point
on graph gives the instantaneous velocity.

Displacement/m

## - Zero gradient = zero velocity (stationary)

- Positive gradient = displacement and
velocity towards the right
- Negative gradient = displacement and
velocity towards the left

Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

DisplacementTime Graphs
(Deducing the Motion of an Object)
Region

Characteristics

Horizontal straight
line (Zero

Stationary at 40 m to
the right of X

straight line
Straight

Moving right
east (positive
direction away from X)
with uniform velocity

## Tangent with zero

Zero instantaneous
velocity (stationary) at
100 m to the right of X

C
C
C to
to
F
F

Region with
with
Region
negative

D,
D, E,
E,
F
F
G
G

decreases
from
D to E from
to F D
to E to F
Horizontal straight
Horizontal straight
line
line

Deduction

Moving left
west(negative
(negative
Moving
direction towards
towards X)
X)
direction
with changing velocity
Velocity decreasing
decreasing
Velocity
from D
D to
to E
E to
to F
F
from
Stationary at 20 m to
Stationary at 20 m to
the right
right of
of X
X
the

Displacement/m

C
B

D
E

G
Time/s

N
X
0

20

40

60

Displacement/m

80

100

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

VelocityTime Graphs
(Object at Rest)
Time/s

Displacement/m

20

20

20

20

20

20

Velocity/m s1

Displacement/m

Time/s

Velocity/m s1

## The displacementtime graph shows that

the object is at rest, 20 m from the starting
point, from t = 0 s to t = 5 s.
The velocitytime graph shows
a horizontal, straight line on the x-axis;
zero acceleration.

Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

VelocityTime Graphs
(Object at Uniform Velocity)
Time/s

Displacement/m

10

20

30

40

50

Velocity/m s1

10

10

10

10

10

10

Displacement/m

Time/s

Velocity/m s1

## The displacementtime graph shows an

object moving at uniform velocity.
The velocitytime graph shows
a horizontal, straight line;
zero acceleration.

Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

VelocityTime Graphs
(Uniform Acceleration)
Time/s

Displacement/m

20

45

80

125

Velocity/m s1

10

20

30

40

50

Displacement/m

Time/s
Velocity/m s1

## The displacementtime graph shows an

object moving with increasing velocity.
The velocitytime graph shows
that velocity increases by 10 m s1 every
second;
(constant acceleration).

Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

VelocityTime Graphs
(Uniform Deceleration)
Time/s

Displacement/m

45

80

105

120

125

Velocity/m s1

50

40

30

20

10

## The displacementtime graph shows an

object moving with decreasing velocity.

Displacement/m

Time/s

Velocity/m s1

## The velocitytime graph shows

that velocity decreases by 10 m s1
every second;
(constant deceleration).

Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

VelocityTime Graphs
(Increasing Acceleration)
Time/s

Velocity/m s1

18

32

50

Velocity/m s1

## The velocitytime graph shows

that the increase in velocity increases
with time;
increasing acceleration.
Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

VelocityTime Graphs
(Decreasing Acceleration)
Time/s

Velocity/m s1

18

32

42

48

50

Velocity/m s1

## The velocitytime graph shows

that the increase in velocity decreases
with time;
decreasing acceleration.

Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

VelocityTime Graphs
(Instantaneous Acceleration)
Velocity/m s1

Instantaneous acceleration
at t = 3 s is
v = (30 5) m s1
t
(4 2) s

(4,30)

v
t
(2,5)

= 12.5 m s2
Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

Velocity/m s1

Displacement
= area under graph
= 1 (5 s)(50 m s1)
2
= 125 m

VelocityTime Graphs
(Area under Graph)
To find the displacement, calculate
the area under a velocitytime graph
over the time period.

C
Time/s

Velocity/m s1

Velocity/m s1

Displacement
= area under graph
= (0 m s1)(5 s)
=0m

Velocity/m s1

Displacement
= area under graph
= (10 m s1)(5 s)
= 50 m

Displacement
= area under graph
= 1 (5 s)(50 m s1)
2
= 125 m

D
A
Time/s

Time/s

Time/s

## 2.3 Graphs of Motion

SpeedTime Graphs versus VelocityTime Graphs
B
Speed/m s1

A
A1

B
t1

t = t1
v=0

Velocity/m s1

u
h

A2
t2

Time/s

+
A

## Total distance travelled

= total area under graph
= A1 + A2
=h+h
= 2h

t=0
v=u

t = t2
v = u

## Ball tossed vertically

upwards
Falls freely, negligible air
resistance
from ground as positive

A
A3

B
t1

t2
A4

Time/s

Total displacement
= total area under graph
= A3 + A4
= h + (h)
=0

Chapter 2 Kinematics

2.1

2.2

2.3

Graphs of Motion

2.4

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this section, you should be able to:
state that the acceleration of free fall near to the
Earths surface is approximately 10 m s2;
describe the motion of free-falling bodies with and
without air resistance;
apply the term terminal velocity when describing
the motion of falling bodies.

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

If we drop a heavy object and a light object
from the same height at the same time,
which will hit the ground first?

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Contrary to the widely accepted claim made by
Aristotle that a heavier object falls faster than a
lighter object,
I discovered that all objects, regardless of mass or
size, fall at the same acceleration due to the Earths
gravity.

Galileos Discovery

## Acceleration due to gravity g is a constant.

For objects close to the Earths surface,
g = 9.8 m s2.
g is approximately 10 m s2.

Galileo Galilei
(15641642)

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Objects Falling without Air Resistance
To put Galileos discovery to the test, watch
these two videos:

URL 1

URL 2

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Objects Falling without Air Resistance
Free fall happens only in vacuum (no air resistance).
The only force acting on a free-falling object is its weight.
The direction of force and motion is downward (towards
the centre of the Earth).
Objects falling without air resistance experience a
constant increase in velocity under Earths gravity.
Acceleration due to gravity g is a constant.
The velocitytime graph has a constant gradient.
Acceleration is not dependent on the mass or size of an
object.

acceleration

v/m s1

40
30

## Objects Falling without Air Resistance

20
10
0

0s

1s

2s

3s

4s

t/s

Time
interval

At rest
Wh

Wf
Wf

10 m s1

Wf 20 m s1

Wf

Wf

30 m s1

40 m s1

Forces
involved

Type of motion

Wh

0s
to
1s

Velocity increases:
Wf (feather)
zero to 10 m s1
Wh (hammer) v = 10 m s1

Wh

1s
to
2s

Velocity increases:
Wf (feather)
10 to 20 m s1
Wh (hammer) v = 10 m s1

Wh

2s
to
3s

Velocity increases:
Wf (feather)
20 to 30 m s1
Wh (hammer) v = 10 m s1

Wh

3s
to
4s

Velocity increases:
Wf (feather)
30 to 40 m s1
Wh (hammer) v = 10 m s1

Acceleration
10 m s2
10 m s2
(constant
acceleration)

10 m s2
(constant
acceleration)

10 m s2
(constant
acceleration)

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Activity (Group)
Objective
Observe two objects falling without air resistance.
(The two objects should be dropped from the same
height, at the same time, and they should reach the
ground at the same time.)
Instructions
1.Choose two objects.
2.Drop them from the same height and at the same
time.
3.Observe as the objects hit the ground.

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Objects Falling with Air Resistance
Air resistance
is a frictional force;
is due to the object moving through the atmosphere;
always opposes the motion of the moving object.

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Objects Falling with Air Resistance
Air resistance increases with the

density of air.

## Can you think of objects that will experience high

air resistance when falling? What characteristic(s)
of these objects increase their air resistance?

Terminal
velocity

v/m s1

v4 = v3
v2
v1

A1
0

0s

1s

## Object Falling with Air Resistance

A4

A3

A2

W
R1
W

At rest

v1

R2

2s

W
v2
R3
W

3s
R4

v3

4s

t/s

v4

Time
interval

Forces
involved

0s
to
1s

W > R1

1s
to
2s

W > R2 > R1

2s
to
3s
3s
to
4s

Type of motion
Velocity increases:
zero to v1
v = v1 0
Velocity increases:
v1 to v2
v smaller:
(v2 v1) > (v1 0)

W > R3 > R 2

Velocity increases:
v2 to v3
v smaller:
(v3 v2) > (v2 v1)

W = R4 = R3

Velocity constant:
v4 = v3
= terminal velocity
v = 0

Displacement
Acceleration (area under
graph)
Yes
Yes
(but lower than
from 0 s to 1 s)

Yes
(but lower than
from 1 s to 2 s)

Zero

A1

A2 > A1

A3 > A2

A4 > A3
(slightly larger)

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Terminal Velocity
When the air resistance acting against an object
equals its weight, the object travels at a constant
velocity known as terminal velocity.
If an object falls through a short distance, it may not
have time to reach terminal velocity before hitting
the ground.
Is the terminal velocity always the same?
How can we change it?

## 2.4 Acceleration due to Gravity

Question
A parachutist jumps from an aircraft and falls through the air.
After some time, the parachute opens. At which point do you
think the parachute opens?
Velocity/m s1

50
40

30
20

10
0

A
2

10 12 14 16 18

Time/s

Chapter 2 Kinematics
Kinematics
Magnitud
e

Distance
(SI unit:
m)

Scalar
quantities

have
only

Speed
(SI unit: m
s1)

Vector
quantities

Displacem
ent
(SI
unit: m)

Speed =distance

time
taken
total distance
Average =
total time
speed
taken

Area under
velocitytime
graph
displacement

Velocity displacement
=
time taken

graph
velocity

Velocity
(SI unit:
m s1)

have both

Magnitud
e
Direction

Accelerati
on
(SI
unit: m s2)

Acceleration = change in

velocity
time taken

graph
acceleration
Acceleration due to gravity g
- Without air resistance,
object falls with constant
acceleration
- With air resistance, object
falls with decreasing
acceleration and may reach
terminal velocity

Chapter 2 Kinematics
The URLs are valid as at 15 October 2012.

Acknowledgements
(slides 173) skydiver Joggiebotma | Dreamstime.com
(slide 62)
Galileo Galilei Justus Sustermans | Wikimedia
Commons | Public Domain