Force and Motion

Potential VS Kinetic

Potential Energy: Wile E Coyote & Roadrunner

Force and Motion Notes

Motion, by Liz LaRosa (

Motion: a change in position, measured by distance and time.

Frame of reference: the point from which movement is determined.

To measure movement, some point must be considered as nonmoving.

Earth is the most common frame of reference, however:

Speed: the distance traveled by a moving object per unit of time.

To calculate speed, use the equation - Speed = distance / time

Speed only gives distance and time.

Average speed: the speed of moving objects is not always constant:

Average speed = total distance / total time

Velocity: speed in a given direction.

Velocity gives distance, time, and the direction of travel.

Acceleration: The rate of change in velocity.

Deceleration: A term commonly used to mean a decrease in speed.

Force: any push or pull.

Forces give energy to objects.

Forces cause a change in motion.

Friction: a force that opposes motion.

Gravity: the force of attraction between all objects in the universe.

Gravity is the weakest of the known natural forces, only becoming obvious when massive objects like stars and planets are involved.

Free fall - an object falling under the influence of gravity.

Weight: the effect of gravity on an objects mass

Momentum: the product of the mass of an object and its velocity.

All moving objects have momentum.

The Three Laws of Motion by Sir Isaac Newton explain all aspects of motion.

Newton's First Law describes motion produced by balanced forces.

An object at rest will remain at rest, and a moving object will remain at a constant velocity unless unbalanced forces act on it.

Newton was first to use the term inertia to describe the tendency of objects to remain in motion or stay at rest. Inertia comes from the Latin word iners, which means "lazy".

Newton's Second Law describes motion produced by unbalanced forces.

This law is best stated using the equation: Force = mass X acceleration

Acceleration is always in the direction of the unbalanced force.

The units of force are "Newtons".

Newton's Third Law explains why forces act in pairs.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Forces always act in pairs.

Notes have been taken from the following source: Physical Science Class