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9.

Motion Along A Straight Line [PAPER 2, SECTION C, 10 Marks]

9.1 Back to BASIC : Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration

 s = displacement (distance measured from a certain point + direction)


 v = velocity of moving object [usually towards the right is considered positive]
 a = acceleration of moving object

s = f(t) [displacement is usually given as a function of time]


ds
v = f ’(t) =
dt
dv
a = f ”(t) =
dt

Past Year Questions [What is being asked]


(2003) a = 10 – 2t [acceleration]
(2004) v = 2t ( 6 – t) [velocity]
(2005)(Involves two moving objects, P & Q) [velocity]
vP = 6 + 4t – 2t2 (ms-1)

vQ = – 2 (ms-1)

(2006) v = t2 – 6t + 5 [velocity]
(2007) v = t – 6t + 8
2
[velocity]
(2008) v = 10 + 3t – t 2
[velocity]

Note : Usually the question asks about “velocity” because it involves differentiation to obtain
“acceleration” and integration to determine the “displacement” (distance travelled).

No. Keywords Meaning Examples / Remarks


1. “Initial” o At the beginning 1.1 Initial displacement : t = 0, s = …..
o When t = 0 1.2 Initial velocity : t = 0, v = …..
1.3 Initial acceleration : t = 0, a = …..
2. Particle returns to starting s=0
point O Candidates are required to determine the
3. Particle passes through O s=0 time for each situation.
4. Particle achieves v=0
maximum / minimum With this time t, candidates are then
displacement asked to determine another quantity.
5. Particle achieves a=0
maximum / minimum
velocity Usually candidates are also asked to
6. Particle changes direction v=0 sketch the graph showing the motion of
of motion the particles.
7. Particle stops v=0
instantaneously …..
8. Particles moves with a=0
constant velocity …

Motion Along A Straight Line 1


9.1 Displacement
(i) When a particle moves along a straight line, its displacement (s) from a fixed point O changes with time t.
We write : s = f(t)
(ii) If the direction towards the right is considered positive, then
(a) positive displacement means the particle is on the right side of O,
(b) negative displacement means the particle is on the left side of O,
(c) Zero displacement means the particle is at O.

Q A particle moves along a straight line passing A


1 through O. Its displacement, s metres, from O at t 1 s = 4t – t2
seconds after passing through O is given by
s = 4t – t2. (a) (i) t = 0, s = 4(0) – (0)2
(a) Find the displacement of the particle when = 0
(i) t = 0, (ii) t=1,s=
(ii) t = 1,
(iii) t = 3, (iii)
(iv) t = 5
(iv)
Sketch the displacement-time graph of the
motion of the particle for 0 �t �5 (b) At O, s = 0, 4t – t2 = 0
t(4 – t) = 0
(b)When is the particle back at O once again? t=0, t=4
So, particle is back at O again after 4 seconds.
Q A particle moves along a straight line passing A
2 through O. Its displacement, s metres, from O at t 2
seconds after passing through O is given by
s = t2 + 3t – 10 .
Find
(a) the initial displacement,

(b) the displacement when t = 3,

(c) the distance travelled in the fourth second.

(d) the total distance travelled in the first 4


seconds.

[Ans : – 10m, 8m, 10m, 28m]


Q A particle moves along a straight line passing A
3 through O. Its displacement, s metres, from O at t 3
seconds after passing through O is given by .
s = 80t – 4t2.
(a) When is the particle
(i) 300 m to the right of O ?
(ii) 500 m to the left of O ?
(iii) passing through O again?

(b) Find the time interval when


(i) the particle moves to the right
(ii) the displacement is negative.

(Assume motion to the right is positive)


[Ans : (a) t = 5, 15 ; 25; 20 ; (b) 0 < t < 10, t > 20s ]

Motion Along A Straight Line 2


9.2 Velocity
(i) Velocity is the rate of change of displacement with respect to time.
ds
s = f(t), v = f ’(t) = [ differentiate s once]
dt
(ii) If the direction of motion towards the right is considered positive, then
(a) positive velocity means the particle is moving towards the right,
(b) negative velocity means the particle is moving towards the left,,
(c) Zero velocity means the particle is stationary.

Q The velocity, v ms-1 , of a particle moving along a A v = 5 + 4t – t2


1 straight line is given by v = 5 + 4t – t2 at time t 1
seconds after passing through a fixed point O. (a) t = 0 , v = 5 ms-1
Find
(a) the initial velocity, (b) t = 2, v =

(b) the velocity when t = 2s, (c) particle ‘stops’, v = 0 ,


5 + 4t – t2 = 0
(c) the time when the particle stops (5 – t)(1 + t) = 0
instantaneously, t = …..
(d) v < 0,
(d) the interval when the particle moves towards 5 + 4t – t2 < 0
the left. (5 – t)(1 + t) < 0
t> 0, 5 – t < 0
t > 5
So, particle moves towards the left after …..
seconds.
Q The velocity, v ms-1 , of a particle moving along a A
2 straight line is given by v = t2 – 6t + 8 at time t 2
seconds after passing through a fixed point O.
Find
(a) the initial velocity,

(b) the velocity when t = 3s,

(c) the time when the particle stops


instantaneously,

(d) the interval when the particle moves to the


left. [Ans : 8 ms-1, -1 ms-1 ; t = 2, 4 ; 2 < t < 4]
Q The velocity, v ms-1 , of a particle moving along a A
3 straight line is given by v = 20 + 8t – t2 at time t 3
seconds after passing through a fixed point O.
Find
(a) the initial velocity,

(b) the initial acceleration,

(c) the maximum velocity of the particle

(d) the interval when the particle moves to the


right.

(e) the distance traveled in the first 3 seconds.

[Ans : 20ms-1, 8 ms-1, 36 ms-1, 0 < t < 10, 87m ]

Motion Along A Straight Line 3


9.3 Acceleration
(i) Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity with respect to time.
ds dv
s = f(t), v = f ’(t) = , a= [ differentiate v once, or s twice !]
dt dt
(ii) Positive acceleration means the velocity of the particle is increasing,
Negative acceleration means the particle is slowing down,,
Zero acceleration means the particle is moving with UNIFORM velocity.

Q The acceleration, a ms-2 , of a particle moving A a = 12 – 4t2


1 along a straight line is given by a = 12 – 4t, 1
where t is the time in seconds after passing
through a fixed point O. The velocity of the
particle is 14 ms-1 when it passes through O.
Find
(a) the initial acceleration,

(b) the velocity when t = 2s,

(c) the time when the particle stops


instantaneously,

(d) the maximum velocity of the particle.

[Ans : 12 ms-2, 30 ms-1, t = 7s, 32ms-1]


Q The acceleration, a ms-2 , of a particle moving A a = 6 – 2t
2 along a straight line is given by a = 6 – 2t, 2
where t is the time in seconds after passing
through a fixed point O. The velocity of the
particle is 16 ms-1 when it passes through O.
Find
(a) the initial acceleration,

(b) the maximum velocity of the particle,

(c) the acceleration of the particle when it stops


instantaneously,

(d) the total distance travelled in the first 8


seconds.
[Ans : 6 ms-2, 25 ms-1, -10 ms-1, 149 1/3m ]
Q A particle moves along a straight line and passes A
3 through a fixed point O, with a velocity of 24 3
ms-1. Its acceleration, a ms-2, t s after passing
through O is given by a = 10 – 2t. The particle
stops after p seconds.
Find
(a) the initial acceleration of the particle,
(b) the maximum velocity of the particle,
(c) the value of p,
(d) the total distance travelled by the particle.

[Ans : 10 ms-2, 49 ms-1, p = 12; 432 m ]


Motion Along A Straight Line 4
SPM Format Questions
Q A particle moves along a straight line from a A
1 fixed point P. Its velocity, V ms-1, is given by 1
v = 2t (3 – t ), where t is the time, in seconds,
after leaving the point P.
(Assume motion to the right is positive)
2 Find
0 (a) the maximum velocity of the particle,
0 (b) the distance travelled during the third second,
4 (c) the value of of t when the particle passes the
point P again,
(d) the time between leaving P and when the
particle reverses its direction of motion.
[Ans : 4.5 ms-1, 7/3 m, t = 4.5s ; 0 < t < 3 ]
Q A particle moves in a straight line and passes A
1 through a fixed point O. Its velocity, v ms-1-, is 2
given by v = t2 – 8t + 15, where t is the time, in
seconds, after leaving O.
(Assume motion to the right is positive)
(a) Find
(i) the initial velocity of the particle,
(ii) the time interval during which the
2 particle moves towards the left,
0 (iii) the time interval during which the
0 acceleration of the particle is positive.
6 [5marks]
(b) Sketch the velocity-time graph of the motion
of the particle 0 �t �5 [2marks]
(c ) calculate the total distance traveled during
the first 5 seconds after leaving O. [3 marks]

[Ans: 15, 3 < t < 5, t > 4 ; 58/3 m]


Q A particle moves along a straight line and passes A
3 through a fixed point, O. Its velocity, v ms-1-, is 3
given by v = 12 + 4t – t2 , where t is the time, in
seconds, after passing through O. The particle
stops instantaneously at a point Q.
Find
2 (a) the acceleration, in ms-2, of the particle at Q
0 [3 marks]
0 (b) the maximum velocity, in ms-1 , of the
8 particle, [3 marks]
(c) the total distance, in m, traveled by the
particle in the first 9 seconds , after passing
through O. [4 marks]
[Ans: – 8 ms-2 ; 16 ms-1 ; 117 m]
Q A particle moves along a straight line and passes A
-1-
4 through a fixed point, O. Its velocity, v ms , is given 4
by v = 3t2 – 12t - 15 , where t is the time, in seconds,
S after passing through O.
P
M
(Assume motion to the right is positive)
Find
t (a) the initial acceleration of the particle, [2 marks]
h (b) the minimum velocity of the particle, [2 marks]
i
s
(c) the total distance travelled by the particle from the
point O until it achieves maximum speed, [4 marks]
y (d) the time interval during which the particle moves
e
a
towards the left [2 marks]
r
?
[Ans: – 12 ms-2 ; – 27 ms-1 ; 46 m , 0 < t < 5 ]]
Motion Along A Straight Line 5
Motion Along A Straight Line 6