Physics Unit 2a (P2): Velocity and Distance Time Graphs

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  • Physics: Velocity and Distance-Time Graphs
    • Speed & Velocity
      • Speed and Velocity are both measured in m/s (or km/h or mph).
      • They both simply say how fast you're going.
      • Differences
        • Speed is just how fast you're going (e.g. 20 m/s) - the direction doesn't matter.
        • Velocity is the speed in a given direction, e.g. 20 m/s north.
    • Distance-Time Graphs
      • 1) A distance-time graph shows the distance travelled by an object over time.
        • 2) The slope of a distance-time graph is called the gradient.
          • 3) The gradient of a distance-time graph tells you how fast your object is travelling.
            • 4) Flat sections are where the object is stationary-it's stopped.
              • 5) Straight uphill (/) or downhill (\) sections mean it is travelling at a steady speed.
                • 6) The steeper the graph, the faster it's going.
                  • 7) Downhill sections mean it's going back towards its starting point.
                    • 8) Curves show a change in speed.
                      • 9) A steepening curve means it's speeding up (increasing gradient). This is called acceleration.
                        • 10) A levelling off curve means it's slowing down (decreasing gradient). This is called deceleration.


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