Graphical representation of motion
Tanusri Gururaj, Academic content writer of Physics at Edumarz
Distance is along the y-axis and, time is along the x-axis.
A distance-time graph is used to calculate the speed of the object. The slope of the graph gives the speed.
The distance-time graph for an object moving at uniform speed is shown below-
To calculate speed from the above graph, take two points A and, B on the line. Let us assume that point A is (10, 2) and point B is (25, 5).
Since the slope of the graph gives the speed,
Slope = speed = vertical difference/horizontal difference.
Speed = ((5-2)/(25 – 10)) m/s
Speed = 3/15 = 1/5 = 0.2 m/s
Similarly, we can calculate the velocity of an object if it is a displacement-time graph where displacement is along the y-axis and, time is along the x-axis.
Velocity is along the y-axis and, time is along the x-axis.
The area under the velocity-time graph represents the displacement as,
Displacement = Velocity x Time
The slope of this graph gives the acceleration as acceleration is the rate of change of velocity.
If the graph is parallel to the time axis it means that the velocity of the body is constant and, hence, the acceleration will be zero.
The Velocity-time graph for an object moving with uniform acceleration is shown below.
The Velocity-time graph for an object moving with non-uniform acceleration is shown below.