Physics - Speed and Velocity

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Graphs of Motion (Distance Time Graph)

A graph of motion tells us the distance an object travels and the time it takes to do so. Using this information we can also calculate the speed at which the object was travelling.

The equation we use to do so is:

speed = distance/time

Reading off a Graph of Motion

  • Horizontal line: No movement, the object is stationary.
  • Positive diagonal line (sloping upwards): The object is moving away from a certain point at a constant speed.
  • Negative diagonal line (sloping downwards): The object is moving towards a point at a constant speed.
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Graphs of Motion (Velocity Time Graph)

Another Graph of motion is the Velocity Time Graph. This tells us the velocity of an object and the time taken. From this we acn also deduce the distance travelled and the acceleration of the object.

Reading off a Graph of Motion

  • Horizontal line: The object is moving at a constant velocity.
  • Positive diagonal line (sloping upwards): The object is accelerating.
  • Negative diagonal line (sloping downwards): The object is decelerating.

To determine the distance travelled, we calaculate the area beneath the line on the graph.

To calculate the objects acceleration we use the equation:

  • a = y/x
  • or Acceleration = Velocity/Time
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