University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
PHYSICS 1301
Graphing, Motion and Acceleration: 1. If the line on a velocity vs time graph were a flat line, what would the same motion look like on a distance vs time graph and an acceleration vs time graph? How could you describe the motion of the object in all three graphs? A straight line on a velocity time graph means you have a constant sp
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Graphing, Motion and Acceleration: 1. If the line on a velocity vs time graph were a flat line, what would the same motion look like on a distance vs time graph and an acceleration vs time graph? How could you describe the motion of the object in all three graphs? A straight line on a velocity time graph means you have a constant speed in one direction. So the speed or velocity of the car is the same amount for an interval of time, similar to cruise control on your car. To show constant velocity on a distance vs time graph, you should be covering the same amount of distance per increment of time. Mathematically, your slope is constant. This would give a straight upward diagonal. To show constant velocity on an acceleration vs time graph, you would have a flat line at zero, because the car is not accelerating. The speed is constant and therefore lacks acceleration. 2. If the line on a velocity vs time graph were a straight diagonal, what would the same motion look like on a distance vs time graph and an acceleration vs time graph? How could you describe the motion of the object in all three graphs? A straight diagonal on a velocity vs time graph means that an objects velocity is accelerating at a constant rate. That means for every increment of time you are adding speed to your motion. A distance vs time graph that shows acceleration is a curved upward line, the line indicates that you are increasing the amount of distance you are covering for every increment of time. If you cover more distance in the same amount of time you are faster than you were, or you are accelerating. An acceleration vs time graph would have a flat line that is NOT at zero. The flat line means that you are accelerating constantly at the rate where the line is placed on the y-axis. So for example, if the above graph had numbers, and you could read that the line were at 5 on the y-axis, your speed would be accelerating by 5 m/s every second of time. 3. If the line on a velocity vs time graph were

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