Text Reading: Giancoli, Physics - Principles with Applications, Chapter 2: Sections 1-5
- Section 1: We measure position from something, usually a point called our origin, against some background scale or frame of reference that tells us how far and in what direction. Distance alone from the origin will not give us location. We must also use directions (usually by measuring position against a coordinate system) to locate one point with respect to another. In mathematics and physics, quantities with only magnitude (size) are scalar, while quantities with both magnitude and direction are vectors. We perform mathematical operations such as addition and subtraction on scalars as we do in normal arithmetic. Vectors have their own rules for mathematical operations, since we have to take direction into account.
- Section 2: Displacement occurs over time when an object changes its location. If we consider only the total distance covered in a given period of time, we can calculate average speed. If we consider only the original and final position or displace, we can calculate average velocity.
- Section 3:A moving object has an instantaneous speed which cannot be directly observed or measured. To handle values at a given instant, we must use limits and calculus (technically beyond the scope of this course, but we'll look at it a bit in the AP section).
- Section 4: Any change in the velocity of an object is acceleration. Since velocity has two components, magnitude (speed) and direction, acceleration occurs if an object changes direction under constant speed (such as an object moving in a circle), as well as if the object speeds up or slows down.
- Section 5: The relationships of displacement, velocity, and acceleration can be summarized in four equations (remember that these assume constant velocity).
Read the following weblecture before chat: The problems of distance and time
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Chat Preparation Activities
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