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Chapter 4

Motion in Two Dimensions


To study the motion of a particle in two dimensions (e.g. xy plane) we begin by defining its
position by a position vector r drawn from the origin of x-y coordinates system to the
location of the particle as shown in figure 1.
At time t1 the particle is at point A and its position vector is ri and at some later time t2 the
particle is at point B and its position vector is rf
As the particle moves from its intial position A to its final position B in the time interval t =
tf- - ti, it makes a displacement with a displacement vector r equal the difference between
the final position vector and the initial
position vector
r = rf- - ri,.

(4.1)

The average velocity


The average velocity of the particle during
a time interval is defined as the displacement
of the particle divided by that time interval

v=

r
t

(4.2)

Fig.(1)
The direction of the velocity vector is along the direction of the displacement vector .
The average velocity between two points is independent of the path taken. This is because the
average velocity proportional to the displacement vector, which depends on the initial and
final position vectors and not on the path taken. If a particle start its motion at some point and
return back to this point, its average velocity is zero.

The instantaneous velocity

It is defined as the limit of the average


velocity r / t as t approaches zero

r dr
(4.3)
=
t dt
The direction of the velocity vector at any
point in a particle's path is along a line tangent
to the path at this point and is in the direction
of motion.
Instantaneous speed
The magnitude of the instantaneous velocity
vector v = V is called the speed which is a scalar quantity.
v = lim t 0

Fig.(2)

Accelerated motion
A moving particle is said to has an acceleration if its velocity vector changes with time. As
the particle moves from one point to another its instantaneous velocity vector changes from vi
at time ti to vf at time tf
average acceleration
The average acceleration of a particle as it moves from one point to another is defined as the
change in the instantaneous velocity vector DV deivided by the time interval Dt during which
the change occurs.
v vi v
=
a= f
(4.4)
t f ti
t
Instantaneous acceleration
Te instantaneous acceleration is defined as the limiting value of the ratio v/t as t
approaches zero
v dv
(4.5)
a = lim t 0
=
t dt
Two Dimensional motion with constant acceleration
Let us consider two dimensional motion with constant acceleration. In the xy plane the
position vector of the particle is
r=xi+yj
(4.6)
Note that, as the particle moves x, y, and r are changing with time.
Using
equation (4.6) and equation (4.3) we obtain for the velocity vector
dr dx
dy
v=
= i+
j = vxi + v y j (4.7)
dt dt
dt
Using equation (4.5) and equation (4.7) we get
dv
dv dvx
a=
i + y j = a xi + a y j (4.8)
=
dt
dt
dt
Because a is assumed constant, its components ax and ay are constants also. Therefore we can
apply the equations of kinematics to the x and y components of the velocity vector. If the
particle has velocity vi and position ri at t = 0.and velocity vf and position vector rf at later
time t then, by substituting vxf = vxi + axt and vyf = vyi + a y t into equation (4.7) we obtain the
final velocity at any time t. as

vf = ( vxi + axt )i + ( vyi + a y t ) j


= ( vxi i+ vyij) + (axt i + ayt j)

v f = v i + at
Substituting x f = xi + v xi t + 12 a

(4.9a)

(4.9b)

and y f = y i + v yi t + 12 a y t 2 into equation (4.6) we get on

rf = ( xi + v xi t + 12 a t )i + ( y i + v yi t + 12 a t )j
2

= ( ( xi i + y i j ) + (v xi i + v yi j )t +
1
2

rf = ri + v i t + a t 2

(4.10b)

1
2
( a i + a y j )t
2 x

(4.10a)

For two-dimensional motion in the xy plane under constant acceleration, each of the vector
expressions (4.9b) and (4.10b) is equivalent to two component expressions - one for the motion
in the x direction and one for the motion in the y direction they are given by:
.
vxf = vxi + axt
vf = v i + at
vyf = vyi + a y t

x f = xi + v xi t + 12 a
rf = ri + v i t +

1 2
at
2

y f = y i + v yi t + 12 a y t 2

x-motion (horizontal)
vxf = vxi + axt
x f = xi + v xi t + 12 a

2
v x2 = v xo
+ 2a x ( x f x i )

y-motion (vertical)
vyf = vyi + a y t
y f = y i + v yi t + 12 a y t 2

v 2y = v 2yo + 2a y ( y f y i )

Projectile motion is one type of two-dimensional motion under constant acceleration, where
ax = 0 and ay = -g. It is useful to think of projectile motion as the superposition of two
motions: (1) constant-velocity motion in the x direction and (2) free-fall motion in the vertical
direction subject to a constant downward acceleration of magnitude g = 9.80 m/s2.

x-motion (horizontal)
vxi = vi cos
ax=0
vxf = vxi = vi cos
x=( vi cos )t

y-motion (vertical)
vyi = vi sin
ay = -g
vyf = vyi - g t

y f = v yi t +
v

The maximum height (h)

2
yf

1
2
a t
2 y

= v 2 gy
2
yi

(i)

(ii)
(iii)

It is the maximum distance traveled by the projectile in y-direction. At the maximum height
vy = 0. To get on the maximum height we put vy = 0 when y = h in equation (iii) of y-motion.
0 = (vi sin )2 -2gh
h= vi sin )2/2g

The time of maximum height (T)


It is the time taken by the projectile to attain its maximum height, when t=T the velocity
vy=0. Using this in equation (i)we get
0 = vi sin - gT
T = vi sin /g
The total time of flight is twice the time of maximum height. It is the time taken by the
projectile to return back to the horizontal level from which it is projected.
Ttotal =2 vi sin /g
The horizontal range ( R)
It is the the distance traveled by the projectile from the point of projection to the point where
it return back to the horizontal level from which it is projected.
v2
R = (vi cos ) (2)= 2 i sin cos
g
2
v
R = i sin2
g
Trajectory
The equation of the path followed by a projectile (the trajectory ) is a relationship between
the y, and x- coordinates of the projectile. Substituting for the time from x- motion into the
equation for Y in the y-motion we get
y = x tan -

1
x2
g 2
2 vo cos 2

Uniform Circular Motion


One of the important motion in two dimensions (motion in plane) is the uniform circular
motion. In which a particle moves on the circumference of a circle of constant radius with
uniform linear speed. Examples are a ball at the end of string revolved about ones head,
and the nearly uniform circular motion of the moon around the earth.

Figure (*)ball at the end of string revolved about ones head

Figure (**) Motion of the moon around the earth.

When an object moves in uniform circular motion , its linear speed is constant, but its
velocity vector v is continuously changing in direction.
Because the velocity is a vector quantity, there are two ways in which an acceleration can
be produced:
(1) by a change in the magnitude of the velocity ( this produces linear acceleration) and
(2) by a change in direction of the velocity (this produces centripetal acceleration).
For an object moving in uniform circular motion of radius r with constant linear speed v,
there is centripetal acceleration only. This acceleration is given by
v2
a=
r
To derive this equation we consider the triangles shown in fig( ) which has sides s and R
and the triangle which has sides v and v. These two triangles are similar. This enables us
to write
v
v

r
r
v
t

v
=

v
r

v
r ,
r

r
t

v
r

Since

v
t
we get from the above equation
a = lim t 0

v
r

v2
v dr
=
a=
r dt
r

The centripetal acceleration is always directed to the center


The angular velocity
In the circular motion The angular velocity is defend as the rate
of consuming angle. If the body makes an angle in time t

=
( 3.8 )
t
The period -T
It is the time for one complete cycle or one complete rotation.

The frequency
It is the number of complete revolutions (cycles) per unit time
=

1
T

( 3.9 )

Since the body makes an angle of 2 in one complete cycle then:


2
=
( 3.10 )
T
In one complete cycle the body moves a distance of 2 r

Therfore the linear speed v is given by


2 r
=r
( 3.11 )
T
The relation between the centripetal acceleration and the angular speed is now given by:

v=

a = 2 r

(4.13)

A particle moving in a circle of radius r with constant speed v is in uniform circular motion.
It undergoes a radial acceleration ar because the direction of v changes in time. The
magnitude of ar is the centripetal acceleration ac:

and its direction is always toward the center of the circle.


If a particle moves along a curved path in such a way that both the magnitude and the
direction of v change in time, then the particle has an acceleration vector that can be
described by two component vectors: (1) a radial component vector ar that causes the change
in direction of v and (2) a tangential component vector at that causes the change in magnitude
of v. The magnitude of ar is
v2/r, and the magnitude of at is
d|v|/dt.

anet =

a r2 + a t2

The velocity v of a particle measured in a fixed frame of reference S can be related to the
velocity v' of the same particle measured in a moving frame of reference S'by

where v0 is the velocity of S'relative to S.