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Chapter 3 Describing Motion

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**Layout of Chapter 3.1 Diagrams Motion Oil 3.2 Where and When?**

Vector v. Scalar Time and Displacement 3.3 Velocity and Acceleration Velocity (average/instant) Acceleration (average/instant)

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**How to read and represent data**

Diagrams How to read and represent data

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**Introduction to Diagrams**

Throughout the course, there will be a persistent appeal to your ability to represent physical concepts in a visual manner. You will quickly notice that this effort to provide visual representation of physical concepts permeates class discussions and activities

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The worlds The world which we are studying in this course is the physical world - a world which we can see. And if we can see it, we certainly ought to visualize it. And if we seek to understand it, then that understanding ought to involve visual representations. So as you proceed on your pursuit of physics knowledge, always be mindful of your ability (or lack of ability) to visually represent it.

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**Visual Representations**

The world which we are studying in this course is the physical world - a world which we can see. And if we can see it, we certainly ought to visualize it. And if we seek to understand it, then that understanding ought to involve visual representations. So as you proceed on your pursuit of physics knowledge, always be mindful of your ability (or lack of ability) to visually represent it.

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Two types of diagrams The two most commonly used types of diagrams used to describe the motion of objects are: ticker tape diagrams vector diagrams

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Ticker Tape Diagrams A history of motion

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Ticker Tape A common way of analyzing the motion of objects in physics labs is to perform a ticker tape analysis. A long tape is attached to a moving object and threaded through a device that places a tick upon the tape at regular intervals of time - say every 0.1 second. As the object moves, it drags the tape through the "ticker," thus leaving a trail of dots. The trail of dots provides a history of the object's motion and therefore a representation of the object's motion.

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Ticker Tapes

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Dot to Dot The distance between dots on a ticker tape represents the object's position change during that time interval. A large distance between dots indicates that the object was moving fast during that time interval. A small distance between dots means the object was moving slow during that time interval. Ticker tapes for a fast- and slow-moving object are depicted below.

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Fast v. Slow Dots

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**What else can you get from a ticker tape diagram?**

The analysis of a ticker tape diagram will also reveal if the object is moving with a constant velocity or accelerating. A changing distance between dots indicates a changing velocity and thus an acceleration. A constant distance between dots represents a constant velocity and therefore no acceleration. Ticker tapes for objects moving with a constant velocity and with an accelerated motion are shown below.

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**Speed and acceleration**

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**Check your understanding**

Ticker tape diagrams are sometimes referred to as oil drop diagrams. Imagine a car with a leaky engine that drips oil at a regular rate. As the car travels through town, it would leave a trace of oil on the street. That trace would reveal information about the motion of the car. Renatta Oyle owns such a car and it leaves a signature of Renatta's motion wherever she goes. Analyze the three traces of Renatta's ventures as shown below. Assume Renatta is traveling from left to right. Describe Renatta's motion characteristics during each section of the diagram. 1.

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Answer Renatta decelerates from a high speed to low speed until she is finally stopped. She remains at rest for a while and then gradually accelerates until the trace ends.

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**Check your understanding**

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Answer Renatta travels at a constant speed during the first time interval and then gradually accelerates until the trace ends.

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**Checking your understanding**

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Answer Renatta moves with a constant speed in the first time interval. She then abruptly decelerates to a stop. She remains at rest for sometime and then moves with a constant speed, slower than the first speed.

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**Diagrams that show direction**

Vectors and Diagrams Diagrams that show direction

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**Scalar and Vector REVISITED**

Scalars are quantities which are fully described by a magnitude alone. Vectors are quantities which are fully described by both a magnitude and a direction.

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**Check your understanding**

1. To test your understanding of this distinction, consider the following quantities listed below. Categorize each quantity as being either a vector or a scalar. Quantity a. 5 m b. 30 m/sec, East c. 5 mi., North d. 20 degrees Celsius e. 256 bytes f Calories

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Introduction Vector diagrams are diagrams which depict the direction and relative magnitude of a vector quantity by a vector arrow. Vector diagrams can be used to describe the velocity of a moving object during its motion. For example, the velocity of a car moving down the road could be represented by a vector diagram.

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Example

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How it works In a vector diagram, the magnitude of a vector is represented by the size of the vector arrow. If the size of the arrow in each consecutive frame of the vector diagram is the same, then the magnitude of that vector is constant. The diagrams below depict the velocity of a car during its motion. In the top diagram, the size of the velocity vector is constant, so the diagram is depicting a motion of constant velocity. In the bottom diagram, the size of the velocity vector is increasing, so the diagram is depicting a motion with increasing velocity - i.e., an acceleration.

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**Velocity and Acceleration**

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**When can you use vector diagrams?**

Vector diagrams can be used to represent any vector quantity. In future studies, vector diagrams will be used to represent a variety of physical quantities such as acceleration, force, and momentum. Be familiar with the concept of using a vector arrow to represent the direction and relative size of a quantity. It will become a very important representation of an object's motion as we proceed further in our studies of the physics of motion.

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Diagram

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**Distance v. Displacement**

Distance and Displacement Distance and displacement are two quantities which may seem to mean the same thing, yet have distinctly different definitions and meanings. Distance is a scalar quantity which refers to "how much ground an object has covered" during its motion. Displacement is a vector quantity which refers to "how far out of place an object is"; it is the object's change in position.

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**How far was the physics teacher displaced?**

To test your understanding of this distinction, consider the following motion depicted in the diagram below. A physics teacher walks 4 meters East, 2 meters South, 4 meters West, and finally 2 meters North.

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Quick Quiz Now consider another example. The diagram below shows the position of a cross-country skier at various times. At each of the indicated times, the skier turns around and reverses the direction of travel. In other words, the skier moves from A to B to C to D. Use the diagram to determine the resulting displacement and the distance traveled by the skier during these three minutes.

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**Answer The skier covers a distance of**

(180 m m m) = 420 m and has a displacement of 140 m, rightward.

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Another Example . Now for a final example. A football coach paces back and forth along the sidelines. The diagram below shows several of coach's positions at various times. At each marked position, the coach makes a "U-turn" and moves in the opposite direction. In other words, the coach moves from position A to B to C to D. What is the coach's resulting displacement and distance of travel?

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**Yes, there really is a difference!**

Speed v. Velocity Yes, there really is a difference!

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What is speed? Just as distance and displacement have distinctly different meanings (despite their similarities), so do speed and velocity. Speed is a scalar quantity which refers to "how fast an object is moving." A fast-moving object has a high speed while a slow-moving object has a low speed. An object with no movement at all has a zero speed.

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Velocity Velocity is a vector quantity. As such, velocity is "direction-aware." When evaluating the velocity of an object, one must keep track of direction. It would not be enough to say that an object has a velocity of 55 mi/hr. One must include direction information in order to fully describe the velocity of the object. For instance, you must describe an object's velocity as being 55 mi/hr, east. This is one of the essential differences between speed and velocity. Speed is a scalar and does not keep track of direction; velocity is a vector and is direction-aware.

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**Average Speed v. Instantaneous**

The instantaneous speed of an object is not to be confused with the average speed. Average speed is a measure of the distance traveled in a given period of time; it is sometimes referred to as the distance per time ratio. Suppose that during your trip to school, you traveled a distance of 5 miles and the trip lasted 0.2 hours (12 minutes). The average speed of your car could be determined as avg. speed = distance/time

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Average Velocity

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For you to try: While on vacation, Lisa Carr traveled a total distance of 440 miles. Her trip took 8 hours. What was her average speed?

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Answer To compute her average speed, we simply divide the distance of travel by the time of travel. That was easy! Lisa Carr averaged a speed of 55 miles per hour. She may not have been traveling at a constant speed of 55 mi/hr. She undoubtedly, was stopped at some instant in time (perhaps for a bathroom break or for lunch) and she probably was going 65 mi/hr at other instants in time. Yet, she averaged a speed of 55 miles per hour.

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**Another walk by the physics teacher**

Now let's try a little more difficult case by considering the motion of that physics teacher again. The physics teacher walks 4 meters East, 2 meters South, 4 meters West, and finally 2 meters North. The entire motion lasted for 24 seconds. Determine the average speed and the average velocity.

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And the Answer is… The physics teacher walked a distance of 12 meters in 24 seconds; thus, her average speed was 0.50 m/s. However, since her displacement is 0 meters, her average velocity is 0 m/s. Remember that the displacement refers to the change in position and the velocity is based upon this position change. In this case of the teacher's motion, there is a position change of 0 meters and thus an average velocity of 0 m/s.

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**Return of the Skier Example**

Here is another example similar to what was seen before in the discussion of distance and displacement. The diagram below shows the position of a cross-country skier at various times. At each of the indicated times, the skier turns around and reverses the direction of travel. In other words, the skier moves from A to B to C to D. Use the diagram to determine the average speed and the average velocity of the skier during these three minutes.

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**Answer The skier has an average speed of**

The skier has an average speed of (420 m) / (3 min) = 140 m/min and an average velocity of (140 m, right) / (3 min) = 46.7 m/min, right

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**Back to the coach example**

And now for the last example. A football coach paces back and forth along the sidelines. The diagram below shows several of coach's positions at various times. At each marked position, the coach makes a "U-turn" and moves in the opposite direction. In other words, the coach moves from position A to B to C to D. What is the coach's average speed and average velocity? When finished, click the button to view the answer

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**Answer Seymour has an average speed of**

(95 yd) / (10 min) = 9.5 yd/min and an average velocity of (55 yd, left) / (10 min) = 5.5 yd/min, left

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Summary In conclusion, speed and velocity are kinematic quantities which have distinctly different definitions. Speed, being a scalar quantity, is the distance (a scalar quantity) per time ratio. Speed is ignorant of direction. On the other hand, velocity is direction-aware. Velocity, the vector quantity, is the rate at which the position changes. It is the displacement or position change (a vector quantity) per time ratio.

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**Change in Velocity during a Time interval**

Acceleration Change in Velocity during a Time interval

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Definition Acceleration is a vector quantity which is defined as "the rate at which an object changes its velocity." An object is accelerating if it is changing its velocity.

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**What does acceleration mean?**

Sports announcers will occasionally say that a person is accelerating if he/she is moving fast. Yet acceleration has nothing to do with going fast. A person can be moving very fast, and still not be accelerating. Acceleration has to do with changing how fast an object is moving. If an object is not changing its velocity, then the object is not accelerating. The data at the right are representative of a northward-moving accelerating object - the velocity is changing with respect to time. In fact, the velocity is changing by a constant amount - 10 m/s - in each second of time. Anytime an object's velocity is changing, that object is said to be accelerating; it has an acceleration.

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**Observe the animation of the three cars below**

Observe the animation of the three cars below. Which car or cars (red, green, and/or blue) are undergoing an acceleration? Study each car individually in order to determine the answer. If necessary, review the definition of acceleration.

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Answers The green and blue cars are accelerating while the red car is going at the same speed throughout the animation. The green and blue cars speed up.

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**Constant Acceleration**

Sometimes an accelerating object will change its velocity by the same amount each second. As mentioned in the above paragraph, the data above show an object changing its velocity by 10 m/s in each consecutive second. This is referred to as a constant acceleration since the velocity is changing by a constant amount each second. An object with a constant acceleration should not be confused with an object with a constant velocity. Don't be fooled! If an object is changing its velocity -whether by a constant amount or a varying amount - then it is an accelerating object. And an object with a constant velocity is not accelerating

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Data for Acceleration The data tables below depict motions of objects with a constant acceleration and a changing acceleration. Note that each object has a changing velocity.

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Comparison of Graphs

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**Motion with constant acceleration**

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**More on Constant Acceleration**

Calculus Application for Constant Acceleration The motion equations for the case of constant acceleration can be developed by integration of the acceleration. The process can be reversed by taking successive derivatives. On the left hand side above, the constant acceleration is integrated to obtain the velocity. For this indefinite integral, there is a constant of integration. But in this physical case, the constant of integration has a very definite meaning and can be determined as an intial condition on the movement. Note that if you set t=0, then v = v0, the initial value of the velocity. Likewise the further integration of the velocity to get an expression for the position gives a constant of integration. Checking the case where t=0 shows us that the constant of integration is the initial position x0. It is true as a general property that when you integrate a second derivative of a quantity to get an expression for the quantity, you will have to provide the values of two constants of integration. In this case their specific meanings are the initial conditions on the distance and velocity.

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Free Falling Objects A falling object for instance usually accelerates as it falls. If we were to observe the motion of a free-falling object (free fall motion will be discussed in detail later), we would observe that the object averages a velocity of 5 m/s in the first second, 15 m/s in the second second, 25 m/s in the third second, 35 m/s in the fourth second, etc. Our free-falling object would be constantly accelerating. Given these average velocity values during each consecutive 1-second time interval, we could say that the object would fall 5 meters in the first second, 15 meters in the second second (for a total distance of 20 meters), 25 meters in the third second (for a total distance of 45 meters), 35 meters in the fourth second (for a total distance of 80 meters after four seconds). These numbers are summarized in the table below. Time Interval Ave. Velocity During Time Interval Distance Traveled During Time Interval Total Distance Traveled from 0 s to End of Time Interval 0 - 1 s 5 m/s 5 m 1 -2 s 15 m/s 15 m 20 m 2 - 3 25 m/s 25 m 45 m 3 - 4 s 35 m/s 35 m 80 m

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More on Free Fall This discussion illustrates that a free-falling object which is accelerating at a constant rate will cover different distances in each consecutive second. Further analysis of the first and last columns of the data above reveal that there is a square relationship between the total distance traveled and the time of travel for an object starting from rest and moving with a constant acceleration. The total distance traveled is directly proportional to the square of the time. As such, if an object travels for twice the time, it will cover four times (2^2) the distance; the total distance traveled after two seconds is four times the total distance traveled after one second.

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Free fall (cont.) If an object travels for three times the time, then it will cover nine times (3^2) the distance; the distance traveled after three seconds is nine times the distance traveled after one second. Finally, if an object travels for four times the time, then it will cover 16 times (4^2) the distance; the distance traveled after four seconds is 16 times the distance traveled after one second. For objects with a constant acceleration, the distance of travel is directly proportional to the square of the time of travel.

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**Calculating Aavg Calculating the Average Acceleration**

The average acceleration of any object over a given interval of time can be calculated using the equation

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**Velocity-Time Data Table**

This equation can be used to calculate the acceleration of the object whose motion is depicted by the velocity-time data table on an earlier slide. The velocity-time data in the table shows that the object has an acceleration of 10 m/s/s. The calculation is shown below (next slide).

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**Calculations with acceleration**

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**Formula for Acceleration**

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**Direction of the acceleration vector**

Since acceleration is a vector quantity, it will always have a direction associated with it. The direction of the acceleration vector depends on two things: whether the object is speeding up or slowing down whether the object is moving in the + or - direction

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**General Rule of Thumb The general RULE OF THUMB is:**

If an object is slowing down, then its acceleration is in the opposite direction of its motion.

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**Consider the two data tables below**

Consider the two data tables below. In each case, the acceleration of the object is in the "+" direction. In Example A, the object is moving in the positive direction (i.e., has a positive velocity) and is speeding up. When an object is speeding up, the acceleration is in the same direction as the velocity. Thus, this object has a positive acceleration.

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**In each case, the acceleration of the object is in the "-" direction**

In each case, the acceleration of the object is in the "-" direction. In Example C, the object is moving in the positive direction (i.e., has a positive velocity) and is slowing down. According to our RULE OF THUMB, when an object is slowing down, the acceleration is in the apposite direction as the velocity. Thus, this object has a negative acceleration.

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**In Example B, the object is moving in the negative direction (i. e**

In Example B, the object is moving in the negative direction (i.e., has a negative velocity) and is slowing down. According to our RULE OF THUMB, when an object is slowing down, the acceleration is in the opposite direction as the velocity. Thus, this object also has a positive acceleration.

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**In Example D, the object is moving in the negative direction (i. e**

In Example D, the object is moving in the negative direction (i.e., has a negative velocity) and is speeding up. When an object is speeding up, the acceleration is in the same direction as the velocity. Thus, this object also has a negative acceleration.

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**Check your understanding**

To test your understanding of the concept of acceleration, consider the following problems and the corresponding solutions. Use the equation for acceleration to determine the acceleration for the following two motions.

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**Answer for A Answer: a = 2 m/s/s**

Use a = (vf - vi) / t and pick any two points. a = (8 m/s - 0 m/s) / (4 s) a = (8 m/s) / (4 s) a = 2 m/s/s

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**Answer for B Answer: a = -2 m/s/s**

Use a = (vf-vi) / t and pick any two points. a = (0 m/s - 8 m/s) / (4 s) a = (-8 m/s) / (4 s) a = -2 m/s/s

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**Customary Symbols for Kinematics Quantities**

Kinematics Quantity Mathematical Symbol Position: final position - where the object is located at the instant the clock reads "t" x original (or starting) position - where the object was at the instant the clock read "to" xo displacement (signed, net) distance the object moved

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Velocity: final velocity - the object's speedometer reading at the instant the clock reads "t" v original (or starting) velocity - the object's speedometer reading at the instant the clock reads "to" vo change in velocity average velocity

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Acceleration: (constant) acceleration a Time: final clock reading t original (or starting) clock reading to time interval (change in time)

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**Acceleration and Velocity**

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