 Introduction
 Terms Associated with Linear Motion
 Motion Graphs
 Determination of Velocity and Acceleration
 Equations of Linear Motion
 Motion Under the Influence of Gravity
 Experimental Determination of Acceleration Due to Gravity
Introduction
 The study of motion is divided into two areas namely kinematics and dynamics.
 Kinematics deals with the motion aspect only while dynamics deals with the motion and the forces associated with it.
 There are three common types of motion:
 Linear or translational motion.
 Circular or rotational motion.
 Oscillatory or vibrational motion.
 In this topic, we concentrate on linear motion.
 Note that all motion is relative i.e the state of a body; at rest or in motion, is ONLY true with respect to the observer’s position.
Terms Associated with Linear Motion

Distance
 is the length of the path covered by a body.
 It only gives the magnitude but no direction i.e it is a scalar quantity.

Displacement
 is the distance through which a body travels in a specified direction. It is a vector quantity.
Both distance and displacement are measured in metres.
 is the distance through which a body travels in a specified direction. It is a vector quantity.

Speed
 is the distance covered per unit time.
 Speed = ^{distance}/_{time}.

Velocity
 is the rate of change of displacement.
 Velocity = ^{displacement}/_{time}.
 It is a vector quantity.
 When the rate of change of displacement is nonuniform, we talk about average velocity;
 Average velocity= ^{total displacement}/_{total time}.
Both speed and velocity are expressed in metre per second (m/s).

Acceleration
 is the rate of change of velocity.
 Thus, Acceleration=^{ change in velocity}/_{time interval} = ^{(final velocity v  initial veolicity u)}/_{time}.
 Acceleration is measured in metre per square second (m/s^{2} ).
 If the velocity of a body decreases with time, its acceleration becomes negative.
 A negative acceleration is referred to as deceleration or retardation.
Example 1.1
 A body covers a distance of 2m in 4seconds, rests for 2seconds and finally covers a distance of 90m in 6seconds. Calculate its average speed.
Solution:
Average speed = ^{total distance}/_{total time }= ^{(2m+90m)}/_{(4s+2s+6s)}= ^{92m}/_{12s} = 7^{2}/_{3 }m/s.  A body moves 30m due east in 2seconds, then 40m due north in 4seconds. Determine its:
 Average speed.
Solution:
Average speed= ^{total distance}/_{time }= ^{(30m+40m)}/_{(2s+4s)}=^{70m}/_{6s} = 11.67 m/s.  Average velocity.
Solution:
Average velocity=^{ total displacement}/_{time} =^{50m}/_{6s}
=8.33m/s.
 Average speed.
 A body is made to change its velocity from 20m/s to 36 m/s in 0.1s. What is the acceleration produced?
a= ^{(v − u)}/_{t} =^{(36m/s − 20m/s)}/_{0.1s}=160 m/s^{2}.  A particle moving with a velocity of 200m/s is brought to rest in 0.02s. What is the acceleration of the particle?
a= ^{(vu)}/_{t} =^{(0m/s − 200m/s)}/_{0.02}= ^{−200}/_{0.02} = −10,000m/s^{2}.
Motion Graphs.
 There are two categories; displacementtime graphs and velocity time graphs.
Displacementtime Graphs
 The slope of a displacementtime graph gives the velocity of the body.
 The various displacementtime graphs are as illustrated below:
 Graph A: the body is at rest i.e there is no change in displacement as time changes. The slope of the graph and hence the velocity is zero.
 Graph B: the body moves with a uniform or constant velocity.
 Graph C: the graph becomes steeper with time. The steeper the slope, the higher the velocity. Thus velocity of the body increases with time. The body is therefore accelerating.
 Graph D: the graph becomes less and less steep with time i.e the body has a higher velocity at the beginning and decreases with time. Therefore, the body is said to be decelerating.
Velocitytime Graphs
 The slope of a velocitytime graph gives the acceleration of the body.
 Note that the area under a velocitytime
graph gives the distance covered by the body.  The diagram below shows the possible velocitytime graphs:
 Graph A: the velocity remains constant/uniform as time increases. The slope of the graph and hence the acceleration of the body is zero.
 Graph B: the velocity changes uniformly with time. The body moves with a uniform/constant acceleration.
 Graph C: the acceleration is lower where the graph is gentle and higher where the graph is steeper. Hence the acceleration of the body increases with time.
 Graph D: in this case, the graph is steeper at the beginning and becomes gentle with time. Hence the acceleration of the body decreases with time.
Determination of Velocity and Acceleration
 Two methods are applicable here:
Method 1: Using appropriate instruments e.g a tape measure and a stop watch to measure the displacement of a body and the duration then applying the formula;
Velocity = total displacement/time taken. 
Method 2: Using a tickertimer.
 It is used to measure velocity of a body specifically over short distances.
 It consists of an electronic vibrator which makes dots on a moving paper tape attached to the object whose velocity is being measured.
 The dots are made at a certain set frequency. For instance, a tickertimer whose frequency is 50Hz makes dots at intervals of 0.02s.
 The time interval between successive dots is referred to as a tick .
 The spacing between the dots depends on the manner in which the body is moving i.e moving at constant velocity or with increasing velocity or decreasing velocity.
 Generally, the dots are close together when the velocity is low and wide apart when the velocity is high. There are three possible patterns that can be obtained by a tickertimer as illustrated below:
 Moving at constant velocity.
The dots are equally or evenly spaced.
 Moving with increasing velocity (accelerating).
The spacing between the dots is initially small but increases away.
 Moving with decreasing velocity (decelerating).
The spacing between the dots is initially large but decreases away.
 Moving at constant velocity.
Example 1.2
 A paper tape was attached to a moving trolley and allowed to run through a tickertimer. The figure below shows a section of the tape.
If the frequency of the tickertimer is 20Hz, determine: The velocity between AB and CD.
Solution
1tick= ^{1}/_{20} =0.01s
V _{AB} = ^{15cm}/_{(5ticks×0.01s)} =^{15cm}/_{0.05s}=300cm/s
V _{CD} =^{30cm}/_{(5ticks×0.01s)} =^{30cm}/_{0.05s}=600cm/s  The acceleration of the trolley.
Solution
Note that the velocities calculated in (a) above are average velocities and as such are taken to be the velocities at the midpoints of AB and CD respectively. Hence, the time taken for the change in velocity is the time between the midpoints of AB and CD.
V _{AB} Δt=2ticks × 0.01=0.2s
Therefore, acceleration=(V _{CD} − V _{AB} )/Δt= ^{(600300)cm/s}/_{0.2s} =3000 cms^{2}.
 The velocity between AB and CD.
 The figure below represents part of a tape pulled through a tickertimer by a trolley moving down an inclined plane. If the frequency of the tickertimer is 50Hz, calculate the acceleration of the trolley.
Note that 1tick=^{1}/_{50} =0.02s.
Initial velocity u =^{0.5cm}/_{0.02s}= 25cms^{1}
Final velocity v =^{5.5cm}/_{0.02s}= 125cms^{1}
Hence, acceleration= ^{(v−u)}/_{Δt}=^{(125 − 25)cm/s}/_{0.2s}
=200cms^{2}
Equations of Linear Motion
 There are three equations governing linear motion. Consider a body moving in a straight line from an initial velocity u to a final velocity v(u, v≠0) within a time t as represented on the graph below:
 The slope of the graph represents the acceleration of the body;
 Acceleration, a=^{(v−u)}/_{t}.
Therefore, v=u+at…………………………………. (i).
This is the first equation of linear motion.  The area under the graph (area of a trapezium) gives the displacement of the body.
Hence, displacement s= ½(sum of // sides) × perpendicular height between them.
s= ½(u+v)t.
But v=u+at,
Therefore, s=½{u+(u+at)}t
s=½(2u+at)t
Hence, s=ut+½at^{2} ………………………………. (ii).
This is the second equation of linear motion. 
Also, rearranging equation (i), we have t=^{(v−u)}/_{a}.
substituting this in equation (ii), we obtain;
s=ut+½at^{2} =u{^{(v − u)}/_{a}}+½a{^{(v − u)}/_{a}}^{2}.
s=^{u(v − u)}/_{a} + a(v − u)^{2}/_{2a2} = ^{u(v − u)}/_{a} + (v − u)^{2}/_{2a}
s= {2u(v − u) + (vu)^{2} }/_{2a} = {2uv − 2u^{2} +v^{2} +u^{2} − 2uv}/_{2a}
s= {v^{2} − u^{2} }/_{2a}2as= v^{2} − u^{2}Hence, v^{2} =u^{2} + 2as ……………………………….. (iii).
This is the third equation of linear motion.  The three equations hold for any body moving with uniform acceleration.
 Note that for a body which is retarding, the acceleration a is given a negative sign.
Example 1.3
 A particle travelling in a straight line at 2m/s is uniformly accelerated at 5m/s^{2} for 8 seconds. Calculate the displacement of the particle.
Solution
s=ut + ½at^{2} = (2 × 8)+(½ × 5 × 8^{2} )
=176m.  An object accelerates uniformly at 3ms^{2}. It attains a velocity of 4m/s in 5 seconds.
 What was its initial velocity?
Solution
v=u+at
u= 4 − (3 × 5) = 4−15 = −11m/s.  How far does it travel during this period?
Solution
s=ut+½at^{2} = (4 × 5)+(½ × 3 × 5^{2} )= 57.5m
 What was its initial velocity?
 A car travelling at 20m/s decelerates uniformly at 4m/s^{2}. In what time will it come to rest?
Solution
v=u − at, (a is negative since the body is decelerating).
0=20−4t
t=^{20}/_{4} =5seconds.
Motions Under the Influence of Gravity
 These include free fall, vertical projection and horizontal projection.
 The three equations of linear motion hold for motions under the influence of gravity.
Free fall
 A body falling freely in a vacuum starts from an initial velocity zero and accelerates at approximately 9.8ms^{2} towards the centre of the earth.
 This is called the acceleration due to gravity g .
 In this case, the air resistance is assumed to be negligible.
 Note that in a vacuum, a feather and a stone released from the same height will take the same amount of time to reach the surface of the earth.
 Therefore, in the three equations of linear motion u=0m/s, s=h and a=g. thus the three equations become:
v=gt, (from v=u+at)
h=½gt^{2} , (from s=ut+½gt^{2} )
v^{2} =2gh, (from v^{2} =u^{2} +2as)  From the above equations:
v= (2gh)^{½} , where v is the velocity of the body just before it hits the ground.
h=½gt^{2} =v^{2}/_{2g}, where h is the height through which the body falls.
t=^{v}/_{g}=(^{2h}/_{g})^{½} , where t is the time of flight.
Example 1.4
 A hammer falls from the top of a building 5m high.
 How long does it take to reach the ground? Take g=10ms^{2}.
h=½gt^{2}5=½ × 10t^{2}t=1^{½} = 1s  With what velocity does it strike the ground?
v= (2gh)^{½} = (2 × 10× 5)^{½} = 10 m/s.
 How long does it take to reach the ground? Take g=10ms^{2}.
Vertical Projection
 When a body is projected vertically upwards, it decelerates uniformly due to gravity until its velocity reduces to zero at maximum height.
 After attaining the maximum height, the body then falls back with an increasing velocity.
 The body must be given an initial velocity and attains a final velocity of zero at its maximum height.
 Note that the sign of ‘g’ is negative for a vertical projection. This is because the body moves against gravity.
 Hence the three equations of linear motion become:
v=u − gt, (from v = u + at)
h=ut − ½gt^{2} , (from s = ut +½gt^{2} )
v^{2} =u^{2}−2gh, (from v^{2} =u^{2} − 2as)
But at maximum height h max , v=0.  Thus, the three equations reduce to:
 gt=u,
 h=ut − ½gt^{2}
 u^{2} =2gh.
 From equation (i), the time taken to attain the maximum height is given by;
t=u/g.  Similarly, the initial velocity u and the maximum height attained by the body h max can be expressed as:
u=gt=(2ghmax)^{½}And h max =ut − ½gt^{2} =u^{2}/_{2g}.  When the body finally falls back to its point of projection, the displacement of the body will be zero. Substituting this in equation (ii), we obtain;
0=ut − ½gt^{2}Therefore, 0=t(2u − gt)
And t=0 or t=^{2u}/_{g}, where t=0 is the time at the start of the projection and, t is this is the total time of flight i.e for both upward projection and fall back.  Note that the total time of flight is twice the time taken to attain maximum height.
 Also, the velocity of the body just before hitting its point of projection as it falls back is the same in magnitude but in opposite direction to its initial velocity; v=−u.
Example 1.5