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Motion Graphs Notes

Motion Graphs
Grade 10 Science
Distance-Time Graphs
The shape of a distance-time graph gives information about an
object’s speed.
Q:What can you say about the speed depicted in each graph
no speed
constant speed
a is higher than b
Determining Speed Graphically
A distance-time plot can be used to determine speed using
Q: Use the graph to determine the speed of a hiker during
segments P-R and R-S.
Determining Velocity Graphically
To graph velocity, a
displacement-time graph is
required. If motion is in one
direction only, the displacementtime graph is identical to the
speed-time graph.
Q:What conclusions can you draw about the motion of a car from
the graph above?
Determining Velocity Graphically
Instantaneous Velocity
When the shape of the displacement-time graph is not
linear (that is, when velocity is not constant), we may find
it useful to calculate an instantaneous velocity.
This is done by drawing a line tangent to the curve at a
given point and calculating its slope.
Instantaneous Velocity
Q: Calculate the instantaneous velocity of the object whose
motion is graphed below at t = 1 s and t = 3 s.
Self-check: do your results match the shape of the graph?