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# Kinematics

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics

• Kinematics
– the branch of mechanics that deals with the study of the motion of
objects without regard to the forces that cause the motion
• Displacement
– A vector that points from an object’s initial position (Xo) to its
final position (X) and has a magnitude equal to the shortest
distance between the 2 positions

Vector Example

## • A particle travels from

A to B along the path
shown by the dotted red
line
– This is the distance
traveled and is a scalar
• The displacement is the
solid line from A to B
– The displacement is
independent of the path
taken between the two
points
– Displacement is a vector

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• Kinematics in 1 Dimension
– We live in a 3-dimensional world, so why bother analyzing 1-dimensional situations?
Well, because any translational (straight-line, as opposed to rotational) motion
problem can be separated into one or more 1-dimensional problems. Problems are
often analyzed this way in physics (and remember throughout your future career;
a complex problem can often be reduced to a series of simpler problems).
– The first step in solving a kinematics problem is to set up a coordinate system. This
defines an origin (a starting point) as well as positive and negative directions. We'll
also need to distinguish between scalars and vectors (which we have done already last
week….remember? I know you do…). A scalar is something that has only a magnitude,
like area or temperature, while a vector has both a magnitude and a direction, like
displacement or velocity.
– In analyzing the motion of objects, there are four basic parameters to keep track of.
These are
• time (t)
• displacement (x or y)
• velocity (v)
• acceleration (a).

## • Time is a scalar, while the other three are vectors. In 1 dimension,

however, it's difficult to see the difference between a scalar and a
vector. The difference will be more obvious in 2 dimensions.

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• Kinematics in 1 Dimension
– (CJ6 Section 2.1) Displacement
– The displacement represents the distance traveled, but it is a vector, so it also gives the direction.
If you start in a particular spot and then move north 5 meters from where you started, your
displacement is 5 m north. If you then turn around and go back, with a displacement of 5 m south,
you would have traveled a total distance of 10 m, but your net displacement is zero, because you're
back where you started. Displacement is the difference between your final position (x) and your
starting point (xi) : It is a vector that points from an object’s initial position to it’s final
position.
– (CJ6 Section 2.2) Speed and Velocity
– Imagine that on your way to class one morning, you leave home on time, and you walk at 3 m/s east
towards campus. After exactly one minute you realize that you've left your physics assignment at
home, so you turn around and run, at 6 m/s, back to get it. You're running twice as fast as you
walked, so it takes half as long (30 seconds) to get home again.
– There are several ways to analyze those 90 seconds between the time you left home and the time
you arrived back again. One number to calculate is your average speed, which is defined as the total
distance covered divided by the time. If you walked for 60 seconds at 3 m/s, you covered 180 m. You
covered the same distance on the way back, so you went 360 m in 90 seconds.
– Average speed = distance / elapsed time = 360 / 90 = 4 m/s.
– The average velocity, on the other hand, is given by:
x
average velocity : v 
t
• In this case, your average velocity for the round trip is zero, because you're back where you started so the
displacement is zero
distance
avg speed 
total time
r
x
average velocity : v  x is the displacement vector , v has same direction as x
t
r
r v
instantaneous velocity v  t is small
t
r
v
average acceleration : a  v is a vector
t
UCVTS AIT Physics
Kinematics
• Acceleration
– An object accelerates whenever its velocity changes. Going back to the example we
used above, let's say instead of instantly breaking into a run the moment you turned
around:
• you steadily increased your velocity from 3m/s west to 6 m/s west in a 10 second period.
– If your velocity increased at a constant rate, you experienced a constant acceleration of 0.3 m/s per
second (or, 0.3 m/s2).
– We can figure out the average velocity during this time. If the acceleration is
constant, which it is in this case, then the average velocity is simply the average of
the initial and final velocities. The average of 3 m/s west and 6 m/s west is 4.5 m/s
west. This average velocity can then be used to calculate the distance you traveled
during your acceleration period, which was 10 seconds long. The distance is simply the
average velocity multiplied by the time interval, so 45 m.
– Similar to the way the average velocity is related to the displacement, the average
acceleration is related to the change in velocity: the average acceleration is the
change in velocity over the time interval (in this case a change in velocity of 3 m/s in a
time interval of 10 seconds). The instantaneous acceleration is given by:
v
a
t
• As with the instantaneous velocity, the time interval is very small (unless the acceleration is
constant, and then the time interval can be as big as we feel like making it).

– On the way out, you traveled at a constant velocity, so your acceleration was zero. On
the trip back your instantaneous acceleration was 0.3 m/s2 for the first 10 seconds,
and then zero after that as you maintained your top speed. Just as you arrived back
at your front door, your instantaneous acceleration would be negative, because
your velocity drops from 6 m/s west to zero in a small time interval. If you took
2 seconds to come to a stop, your acceleration is -6 / 2 = -3 m/s2.

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• Equations of Kinematics when Acceleration is Constant
– When the acceleration of an object is constant, calculations of the distance traveled
by an object, the velocity it's traveling at a particular time, and/or the time it takes
to reach a particular velocity or go a particular distance, are simplified. There are
four equations that can be used to relate the different variables, so that knowing
some of the variables allows the others to be determined.
– Note that the equations apply under these conditions:
– the acceleration is constant
– the motion is measured from t = 0
– the equations are vector equations, but the variables are not normally written in bold
letters. The fact that they are vectors comes in, however, with positive and negative
signs.
– The equations are:
v  v0  at
1
x  x0  (v0  v)t
2
1 2
x  x0  v0t  at
2
v 2  v02  2a ( x  x0 )

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• Applications of the Equations of Kinetics
– 1. Make a drawing to represent the situation being studied
– 2. Decide which directions are positive and negative
– 3. Make a chart and write down all known values and what the question is asking for.
– 4. Verify that that the given information contains at least 3 of the 5 kinetic variables.
– 5. If the motion of the object is divided into segments, remember that the final
velocity of one segment is the initial velocity of the next segment.

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• Applications of the Equations of Kinetics

## – Do Example 6 Problem in CJ6 on page 35

• Find the displacement of the jet when v=62m/s

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• Freely Falling Bodies (Free Fall)
– Objects falling straight down under the influence of gravity are excellent examples of objects
traveling at constant acceleration in one dimension. This also applies to anything you throw straight
up in the air which, because of the constant acceleration downwards, will rise until the velocity drops
to zero and then will fall back down again.
– The acceleration experienced by a dropped or thrown object while it is in flight comes from the
gravitational force exerted on the object by the Earth. If we're dealing with objects at the Earth's
surface, which we usually are, we call this acceleration g, which has a value of 9.8 m/s2. This value is
determined by three things: the mass of the Earth, the radius of the Earth, and a number called the
universal gravitational constant.
– A typical one-dimensional free fall question (free fall meaning that the only acceleration we have to
worry about is g) might go like this.
– You throw a ball straight up. It leaves your hand at 12.0 m/s.
• How high does it go?
• If, when the ball is on the way down, you catch it at the same height at which you let it go, how long was it in flight?
• How fast is it traveling when you catch it?
– Origin = height at which it leaves your hand
Positive direction = up
– (a) At the very top of its flight, the ball has an instantaneous velocity of zero. We can plug v = 0 into
the equation:
– This gives: 0 = 144 + 2 (-9.8) x
– Solving for x gives x = 7.35 m, so the ball goes 7.35 m high.
• (b) To analyze the rest of the problem, it's helpful to remember that the down half of the trip is a mirror image of
the up half. In other words, if, while going up, the ball passes through a particular height at a particular velocity (2
m/s up, for example), on its way down it will pass through that height at the same speed, with its velocity directed
down rather than up. This means that the up half of the trip takes the same time as the down half of the trip, so
we could just figure out how long it takes to reach its maximum height, and then double that to get the total time.
• Another way to do it is simply to plug x = 0 into the equation:
• This gives 0 = 0 + 12 t - 4.9 t2
• A factor of t can be canceled out of both terms, leaving:
• 0 = 12 - 4.9 t, which gives a time of t = 12 / 4.9 = 2.45 s.
– (c) The answer for part (c) has to be 12 m/s down, because of the mirror-image relationship between
the up half of the flight and the down half. We could also figure it out using the equation:
– v = vo + a t which gives:
• v = 12 - 9.8 (2.45) = -12 m/s.

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• Freely Falling Bodies (Free Fall)
– Do Example 12 (CJ6 page 41)

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• 2D Kinematics
– Motion can be described in terms of time t and the x and y components of the
displacement, acceleration and initial and final velocity vectors.
– Treat the x and y motion separately (each occurs as if the other was not happening!)
• Combine x and y motions at the end of the problem using Pythagorean Theorem and
trigonometry

x component y component
x displacement y
ax acceleration ay
vf x final velocity vf y
v0 x initial velocity v0 y
t elapsed time t

v f x  v0 x  ax t v f y  v0 y  a y t
1 1
x (v0 x  v f x )t y (v0 y  v f y )t
2 2
1 1
x  v0 xt  ax t 2 y  v0 y t  a y t 2
2 2
v f 2x  v0 x 2  2ax x v f 2y  v0 y 2  2a y y

## UCVTS AIT Physics

Kinematics
• Projectile Motion
– Idealized kind of motion that occurs when a moving object experiences only the acceleration due to
gravity, acting vertically downward. We will use this type of motion as the basis for our study of 2D
Kinematics.
– For the trajectory of projectile motion, ay has a magnitude of 9.8m/s2 in the x direction there is no
acceleration (ax=0)
– The x motion takes place as if the y motion isn't happening, and the y motion takes place
independent of whatever is happening in the x direction.
– One good example of this is the case of two objects (e.g., baseballs) which are released at the
same time. One is dropped so it falls straight down; the other is thrown horizontally. As long
as they start at the same height, both objects will hit the ground at the same time, no matter
how fast the second one is thrown.

## UCVTS AIT Physics

UCVTS AIT Physics
Physics
• Problem Solving Steps
– 1. Don’t Panic! Every problem has a solution.
• Well, at least the problems this year in Physics
– 2. READ the problem, READ the problem!
– 3. Construct an informative diagram of the physical situation
(sketch).
– 4. Identify and list the given information in variable form
(make a table of values)
– 5. Identify and list the unknown information in variable
form.
– 6. Identify and list the equation which will be used to
determine the unknown information from the known
variables.
– 7. Substitute known values into the equation and use
appropriate algebraic steps to solve for the unknown
• or solve for the unknown variable first and then substitute
known values (this is generally preferable and easier)
– 8. Check your answer to ensure that it is reasonable and
mathematically correct (include UNITS in you solution and