An Online Resource Guide to the Physics of Motion
Physics is the study of matter and energy. The topic of motion falls within the realm of physics. Motion is measured in a number of ways. A physicist may look at time, speed, force, and velocity when studying motion. In addition, some of the different types of energy in the physics of motion include potential and kinetic energy. A person can find examples of the physics of motion in everyday life. For instance, a child holding a wound up yo-yo is grasping something that contains potential energy. Once the child lets the yo-yo slide down its string and brings it back up the toy takes on kinetic energy. The following are some of the components that make up the physics of motion.
Acceleration-This describes the rate of change in a moving object's velocity. Acceleration is one of the ways that motion is measured. When measuring acceleration a person must divide the change in velocity by the amount of time it took to change.
Centripetal Force- This concept is also referred to as, "center-seeking" force. Centripetal force is at work when an object is moving along a curved path. In centripetal force, an object is drawn toward the center of the path of rotation.
Force-A force is what changes the state of an object whether it's at rest or in motion. A force is able to change an object's acceleration or its direction. Force is often thought of as push or pull motion.
Friction- This is the resisting motion between two objects. Friction occurs when two objects are rubbed together. The resistance of friction tends to slow down motion.
g- The small 'g' refers to gravitational acceleration. The value of 'g' depends on the location that is being considered.
Gravitational Force-This refers to the attraction of masses to one another. Gravitational force affects the center of an object's mass. Objects on the surface of the earth are affected by gravitational force.
Inertia-This is an object's resistance to movement. The amount of inertia of an object increases with its mass. A force can change an object's state of inertia.
Kinetic Energy- This is the type of energy in an object that is moving. A dog running across a field is one illustration of kinetic energy. Kinetic energy develops from potential energy.
Kinematics-This deals with the study of dynamics. Kinematics looks at motion without considering mass or force. Kinematics doesn't involve the cause of the object's motion.
Mass-This is the amount of matter of an object. The mass of an object is connected with its level of inertia. An object's size is not always a good indication of its mass.
Momentum-This deals with the movement of objects. Mass and velocity affect momentum. A moving object with a large amount of mass will have greater momentum than one with less mass.
Newton's First Law of Motion-The first law states that an object at rest will remain at rest unless an external force acts on it. In addition, an object in motion will stay in motion unless an external force acts upon it. This law is called the, "law of inertia."
Newton's Second Law of Motion-This law states that the acceleration of an object by a force is related to the amount of force that's applied. In short, the amount of force needed increases with the mass of an object. This law is also called the, "law of acceleration."
Newton's Third Law of Motion-This law explains that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction that occurs. For instance, if a person jumps off the ground he or she is pushing away from the ground. At the same time, the ground is moving away from the person's feet.
Potential Energy-This refers to the type of energy stored within an object. Potential energy transforms into kinetic energy. One example of an object with potential energy is a stretched rubber band.
Speed- This is the rate of distance an object travels in a certain period of time. For instance, miles per hour (mph) measure the speed of a car. The measurement of speed doesn't involve direction.
Time-This is a measurement of a period of events. Time gauges the rate of change in moving objects. Time also records the progression of a moving object.
Velocity-This describes the speed of an object that is traveling in a particular direction. Acceleration deals with an object's changes in velocity. Relative and terminal are two other types of velocity.
Weight- The force of gravity on an object determines its weight. Mass and weight are not the same things. Mass deals with the matter of an object and weight involves gravity.
- A Web Quest on the Laws of Motion: Learn more about Newton and the laws of motion via this web quest.
- A Force and Motion Web Quest: Checkout a detailed web quest on force and motion that involves a roller coaster.
- Force and Motion Vocabulary: (PDF) Study a gathering of vocabulary words and definitions that relate to force and motion.
- Explanations of Newton's Laws of Motion: Learn about Newton's laws of motion as well as when he presented them.
- Physics Facts: Discover a collection of physics terminology accompanied by definitions and further explanation.
- An Activity on Acceleration: (PDF) Find the list of materials and instructions for an activity that teaches students about acceleration.
- Gravity Explained: Read an explanation of gravity as it relates to people living on earth.
- All about Physics: Learn about physics with activity books and interesting articles on the science.
- Friction Activity: Find the materials and directions required to complete an activity on friction.
- Demonstrating Newton's Third Law of Motion: Checkout a selection of activities that will help students understand Newton's Third Law of Motion.
- A Demonstration of Friction: Try an easy experiment that shows how friction is an outside force that is able to slow an object down.
- Baseball and Physics: Learn about how physics is at work in the game of baseball.
- A Selection of Physics Vocabulary: Study the definitions of several terms used in physics.
- Physics Graphs: (PDF) Peruse a collection of graphs used in the study of physics.
- A Roller Coaster Web Quest: Follow the steps of this roller coaster web quest that deals with force and motion.
Written By: Edson Farnell | Email |