If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Unit: Motion in a straight line

We'll review the concepts of distance and displacement and use different ways to visualize motion such as graphs and number lines. So strap your seatbelts (actually this might not be necessary since we don't plan on decelerating in this tutorial) and prepare for a gentle ride of foundational physics knowledge.
This tutorial is the backbone of your understanding of kinematics (i.e., the motion of objects). You might already know that distance = rate x time. This tutorial essentially reviews that idea with a vector lens (we introduce you to vectors here as well). So strap your belts (actually this might not be necessary since we don't plan on decelerating in this tutorial) and prepare for a gentle ride of foundational physics knowledge.
In a world full of unbalanced forces (which you learn more about when you study Newton's laws), you will have acceleration (which is the rate in change of velocity). Whether you're thinking about how fast a Porsche can get to 60mph or how long it takes for a passenger plane to get to the necessary speed for flight, this tutorial will help.
We don't believe in memorizing formulas and neither should you (unless you want to live your life as a shadow of your true potential). This tutorial builds on what we know about displacement, velocity and acceleration to solve problems in kinematics (including projectile motion problems). Along the way, we derive (and re-derive) some of the classic formulas that you might see in your physics book.
We don't believe in memorizing formulas and neither should you (unless you want to live your life as a shadow of your true potential). This tutorial builds on what we know about displacement, velocity and acceleration to solve problems in kinematics (including projectile motion problems). Along the way, we derive (and re-derive) some of the classic formulas that you might see in your physics book.
Solve problems about motion along a line using the power of integral calculus. For example, given the velocity of a particle as a function of time v(t), find how much the particle has traveled over a given time period.
Let's understand and learn how to solve problems involving relative motion and frames of reference when the motion happens on a straight line.

About this unit

Let's explore the ideas of displacement, velocity, and acceleration. We'll do exciting things like throw things off cliffs (far safer on paper than in real life) and see how high a ball will fly in the air.