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Ch 3: AP Physics 1: Kinematics

About This Chapter

Watch online physics lessons and learn about scalars and vectors, free fall motion, kinematic equations and more. Each lesson features a self-assessment quiz you can use to quickly gauge your understanding of the material.

AP Physics 1: Kinematics - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Use this kinematics chapter to explore the properties associated with an object in motion and make sense of the lines, diagrams and graphs used to represent them. Lessons include plenty of illustrations and sample problems you can use to practice solving equations or making qualitative evaluations about an object's speed, acceleration and displacement. This chapter can teach you how to do the following:

  • Differentiate between scalar and vector qualities
  • Solve for variables including distance, speed, velocity and time
  • Determine the slope of a line represented graphically
  • Interpret graphs used to depict free fall and projectile motion

Video Objective
What is Kinematics? - Studying the Motion of Objects Describe the branch of mechanics concerned with the geometry of a body in motion.
Scalars and Vectors: Definition and Difference Distinguish between vector qualities and scalar qualities and get examples for each.
What is Position in Physics? - Definition and Examples Explain how to find an object's position at any moment in time.
Distance and Displacement in Physics: Definition and Examples Differentiate between distance and displacement.
Speed and Velocity: Difference and Examples Outline the differences between speed and velocity.
Acceleration: Definition, Equation and Examples Get the definition for acceleration and describe it as a vector quality.
Significant Figures and Scientific Notation Illustrate how to use the correct number of significant figures when making calculations and report the answers in scientific notation.
Uniformly-Accelerated Motion and the Big Five Kinematics Equations Study how to solve two-step accelerated motion problems.
Representing Kinematics with Graphs Show how graphs are used to depict the relationships between variables describing an object's motion.
Ticker Tape Diagrams: Analyzing Motion and Acceleration Demonstrate the use of ticker tape diagrams to analyze the motion of objects.
What are Vector Diagrams? - Definition and Uses Illustrate the use of vector diagrams in physics.
Using Position vs. Time Graphs to Describe Motion Examine the use of position vs. time graphs to describe motion.
Determining Slope for Position vs. Time Graphs Explain methods for determining the slope of a line on a position vs. time graph.
Using Velocity vs. Time Graphs to Describe Motion Detail the use of velocity vs. time graphs to describe motion.
Determining Acceleration Using the Slope of a Velocity vs. Time Graph See examples for determining acceleration from the slope of speed vs. time graphs.
Velocity vs. Time: Determining Displacement of an Object Describe how a graph of velocity vs. time can also be used to determine the displacement of an object.
Understanding Graphs of Motion: Giving Qualitative Descriptions Illustrate how to give a qualitative description of motion depicted in x vs. t graphs.
Free Fall Physics Practice Problems Demonstrate how to calculate the height, speed or time of flight in free fall problems.
Graphing Free Fall Motion: Showing Acceleration Outline steps for representing a free-falling motion through the use of position vs. time and velocity vs. time graphs.
The Acceleration of Gravity: Definition & Formula Detail the acceleration for any object moving under the sole influence of gravity.
Projectile Motion: Definition and Examples Understand the definition of projectile and see some examples of projectile motion.
Projectile Motion Practice Problems Solve practice problems to get the hang of calculating an object's projectile motion.
Kinematic Equations List: Calculating Motion Review the uses of equations to describe and represent the motion of objects.

23 Lessons in Chapter 3: AP Physics 1: Kinematics
What is Kinematics? - Studying the Motion of Objects

1. What is Kinematics? - Studying the Motion of Objects

Kinematics is the study of the motion of objects. Kinematics can tell you a lot about motion, but not everything. In this lesson, we will examine the types of questions kinematics can and cannot answer.

Scalars and Vectors: Definition and Difference

2. Scalars and Vectors: Definition and Difference

In this lesson, we will examine scalars and vectors, learn why it is important to know the difference between the two and why remembering to add a direction to many of your exam answers could be the reason you get it right or wrong.

What is Position in Physics? - Definition & Examples

3. What is Position in Physics? - Definition & Examples

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what position is, why it is a vector, and interpret position-time graphs. A short quiz will follow.

Distance and Displacement in Physics: Definition and Examples

4. Distance and Displacement in Physics: Definition and Examples

Distance and displacement might seem like similar terms but in physics, understanding the difference can mean getting a question right instead of wrong. In this lesson, we will define these terms and illustrate how easy it is to confuse the two.

Speed and Velocity: Difference and Examples

5. Speed and Velocity: Difference and Examples

Is it possible to drive with a speed of 100 mph but a velocity of 0? In this lesson, we will examine the difference between speed and velocity and use that information to answer this question.

Acceleration: Definition, Equation and Examples

6. Acceleration: Definition, Equation and Examples

Acceleration can be a tricky topic for many students who tend to get hung up on an object's speed. In this lesson, we will explore the common aspects of acceleration and why speed is not always important.

Significant Figures and Scientific Notation

7. Significant Figures and Scientific Notation

Are 7.5 grams and 7.50 grams the same? How do scientists represent very large and very small quantities? Find out the answers to these questions in this video.

Uniformly-Accelerated Motion and the Big Five Kinematics Equations

8. Uniformly-Accelerated Motion and the Big Five Kinematics Equations

In this lesson, we will begin to solve problems that combine position, displacement, velocity, and acceleration. I will introduce the Big Five Equations to help you on your way.

Representing Kinematics with Graphs

9. Representing Kinematics with Graphs

In this lesson, we will introduce how to use graphs to visually represent kinematics. For some students, graphing these types of problems is easier than using algebra equations.

Ticker Tape Diagrams: Analyzing Motion and Acceleration

10. Ticker Tape Diagrams: Analyzing Motion and Acceleration

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what a ticker tape diagram is and analyze motion using a ticker tape diagram. A short quiz will follow.

What are Vector Diagrams? - Definition and Uses

11. What are Vector Diagrams? - Definition and Uses

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what vector diagrams are and how they are used, including vector addition and subtraction. A short quiz will follow.

Using Position vs. Time Graphs to Describe Motion

12. Using Position vs. Time Graphs to Describe Motion

Describing motion with graphs can be a simple, yet powerful tool in your physics arsenal. In this lesson, we begin by looking at the basic position vs. time graph.

Determining Slope for Position vs. Time Graphs

13. Determining Slope for Position vs. Time Graphs

Simply looking at a position vs. time graph can tell you a lot about straight line motion, but doing a few basic calculations can tell you even more. In this lesson, we will learn how to use the slope of the line to determine average velocity.

Using Velocity vs. Time Graphs to Describe Motion

14. Using Velocity vs. Time Graphs to Describe Motion

In this lesson, we will look at an example of a velocity vs. time graph. By examining the shape of the graph, it is possible to accurately describe the motion of an object, even if that motion is very complex.

Determining Acceleration Using the Slope of a Velocity vs. Time Graph

15. Determining Acceleration Using the Slope of a Velocity vs. Time Graph

In this lesson, we will learn how to use the slope of the line on a velocity vs. time graph to calculate the acceleration of an object in straight line motion.

Velocity vs. Time: Determining Displacement of an Object

16. Velocity vs. Time: Determining Displacement of an Object

There is a lot of information you can determine by looking at a velocity vs. time graph. In this lesson, we will use a little geometry to calculate the displacement of the object represented by the graph.

Understanding Graphs of Motion: Giving Qualitative Descriptions

17. Understanding Graphs of Motion: Giving Qualitative Descriptions

You can just look at graphs of straight line motion and accurately describe how that object is moving. In this lesson, we will investigate the basic shapes the graphs can take and what conclusions you can draw from these shapes.

Free Fall Physics Practice Problems

18. Free Fall Physics Practice Problems

In this lesson, we will dive into doing calculations involving free falling objects. We will begin with a few helpful tips to get started before working through a couple of example problems.

Graphing Free Fall Motion: Showing Acceleration

19. Graphing Free Fall Motion: Showing Acceleration

Kinematics topics are great for using x, y scatter graphs to visualize motion. In this lesson, we will examine the basic shapes of two different types of graphs of an object in free fall.

The Acceleration of Gravity: Definition & Formula

20. The Acceleration of Gravity: Definition & Formula

In this lesson, we will introduce the acceleration due to gravity. Objects in free fall are one of the few real world examples of straight line motion with constant acceleration, so they are commonly used when learning kinematics.

Projectile Motion: Definition and Examples

21. Projectile Motion: Definition and Examples

A projectile is any object that is given an initial velocity and then follows a path determined entirely by gravity. In this lesson, we will introduce projectile motion and touch on a few key facts to keep in mind when working through these problems.

Projectile Motion Practice Problems

22. Projectile Motion Practice Problems

After watching this video lesson, you will know how to use the sets of equations that are used to solve projectile motion problems. Learn how to manipulate them to find the answer you need.

Kinematic Equations List: Calculating Motion

23. Kinematic Equations List: Calculating Motion

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what kinematics is, list the five most important kinematics equations, and use them to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

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