Kinematics (velocity & acceleration graphs)

Kinematics is the study of motion.

It is not the same as kinetics, which involves the action of forces to change the motion of a body.

In this section we will be concentrating on the graphs of bodies in motion. It is important for your understanding of calculus.

The Difference Between Distance and Displacement

Distance normally refers to the total distance an object moves during a particular journey.

Displacement refers to the distance from the starting point at a particular instant in time. We normally use s for displacement (which is pretty silly, since s looks like it should stand for speed, but doesn't).

In this Chapter

1. Velocity (s-t) Graphs - where we look at how to graph simple journeys (straight line)

2. Acceleration (v-t) Graphs - where we learn the definition of acceleration and how to draw simple graphs

3. Kinematics Exercises - involving straight-line graphs


We begin the chapter with the definition of velocity »