Describing motion: kinematics

In this section, we will start to describe motion more formally using precise concepts, equations, and graphs. The description of motion is called kinematics. In kinematics, we are not concerned with what causes motion, but only with how to describe it. The next section, dynamics, will look at the cause of motion: force.

Concepts: displacement, velocity, speed, acceleration

Up to now, we’ve talked about things like velocity and acceleration rather loosely. It’s time now to say precisely what we mean by these quantities.

Here are the main concepts that require definition in kinematics:

  • Displacement
  • Velocity (and the associated concept of speed)
  • Acceleration

These physical quantities rest upon more fundamental concepts ...

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