Free course

Describing motion along a line

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Describing motion along a line

Motion is vital to life, and to science. This free course, Describing motion along a line, will help you to understand why classical motion is probably the most fundamental part of physics. You will examine motion along a line and the ways in which such motion can be represented, through the use of graphs, equations and differential calculus.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the meaning of all the newly defined (emboldened) terms introduced in this course
  • draw, analyse and interpret position-time, displacement-time, velocity-time and acceleration-time graphs. Where appropriate, you should also be able to relate those graphs one to another and to the functions or equations that describe them, particularly in the case of straight-line graphs
  • find the derivatives of simple polynomial functions, express physical rates of change as derivatives, and relate derivatives to the gradients of appropriate graphs
  • solve simple problems involving uniform motion and uniformly accelerated motion by using appropriate equations. You should also be able to rearrange simple equations, to change the subject of an equation, and to eliminate variables between sets of equations
  • describe the nature and purpose of drop-towers and drop-shafts, with particular reference to their role in simulating the near weightless conditions of space.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 30/04/2018

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Course content