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University Engineering

Notes by Category University Engineering

Mechanics & Stress Analysis*
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  • A-Level Physics

Motion, Momentum & Impulse

Everything in the universe is in motion, and there are basic laws of mechanics that govern this.

Velocity is the rate of change of an object's position, and therefore has direction. This makes it a vector quantity, unlike speed which is scalar (magnitude but no direction).

velocity = distance / time

The units of velocity are m/s

Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity, and so is the mathematical derivative of this.

acceleration = change in velocity / change in time

The units of acceleration are m/s²

Motion Graphs

We can plot motion on two main types of graph - it is important to know the properties of each.

Displacement Time Graph, A-Level Physics Revision Notes, Engineering Notes

Displacement-Time Graphs

  • The Gradient is the velocity - draw a tangent to find the instantaneous velocity

  • Horizontal line represents zero velocity

Velocity Time Graph, Velocity-Time Grpah, A-Level Physics Revision Study Guide Notes

Velocity-Time Graphs

  • The Gradient is the acceleration

  • The Area beneath the graph is the displacement

Linear Motion

When acceleration is constant (e.g. free fall when we ignore air resistance), we can use SUVAT equations to work out the variables:

Suvat equations

Linear motion can be investigated with trolley cars, air gliders, ticker tape, light gates, data loggers and motion capture.