Motion on a train

Understanding Motion

Having an understanding of motion we must deal with the two aspects of change in position. Distance and displacement are terms used to describe changes in position. The difference between these two is that distance is the total path length covered during a move, which can be presented only by magnitude. Whilst, displacement is the shortest distance between the initial and final position. In this situation, it requires both magnitude and direction for complete representation. In this article, you’ll get to know the definition, examples, laws, and types of motion.

Motion on a train

Read more: Understanding acceleration


What is motion?

In physic, Motion can be defined as the change of position of an object concerning time. It is mathematically described in terms of displacement, distance, velocity, acceleration, speed, and time.


The following stated below are good examples of motion that will give you more clarification on motion in our daily life. They are;

Daily activities like opening and closing of the door, running, walking, etc. in all these activities there is a change in the position of the objects. The movement of automobiles that carries passengers from one place to another. It changes the position of passengers from one position to another, so motion is involved. The breathing in and out of the air in humans are also good examples of motion.

Examples of motion

Read more: Understanding distance and displacement

Laws of motion

The motion of a massive body is described in physics through two related sets of laws of mechanics.

·         Motion of large-scale objects in the universe, which include cars, planets, cells, humans, and projectiles. They are described by classical mechanics. Whereas,

·          Motion of very small atomic and sub-atomic objects is known as quantum mechanics. Newton and Euler have formulated three laws of classical mechanics.

First law: In an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a net force.

Second law: If the resultant force F acting on a body or an object is not equal to zero, the body will have an acceleration a which is in the same direction as the resultant.

Third law: When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.

Read more: The Three Newton’s laws of motion

Watch the video below to learn more about motion:

Types of motion

If you can consider the examples listed above, you might have noticed objects move differently. Some objects move straight path, some curved path, and some move in different directions. The following stated below are the types of motion, classified according to the nature of the movement. Motion is classified into three types such as:

  • Linear motion
  • Rotary motion
  • Oscillatory motion

1. Linear motion:

A linear motion is known by its direction of movement by either a straight line or a curve path. That is the path at which the object moves from one path to another. Good examples of linear are the motion of train, car, football, etc. Linear motion is further divided into two:

  • Rectilinear motion – the path of the motion is a straight line
  • Curvilinear motion – the path of the motion is curved

Read more: Understanding Speed and velocity

 Rotatory motion: a rotatory motion is a motion that takes place when a body rotates on its axis. Good examples of rotatory motion include:

  • The motion of a wheel while driving a car or the steering of the wheel about its axis.
  • The motion of the earth about its axis around the sun is also a good example of rotary motion

Oscillatory motion: an oscillatory motion is the motion of a body about its mean position. Some examples of oscillatory motion include

  • The pendulum of a clock exhibits oscillatory motion as it moves to and fro about its mean position.
  • Pushing a child on a swing and its swing to and fro about its mean position.
  • Another good example is whether n string of the guitar is strummed and moves to and fro.

Read more: How Force changes the State of Motion

I hope you’ve found this post interesting and attained the knowledge. If so, you can freely give your point in our comment section, and please share with other students. Thanks!


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