Written by Jerry Ratzlaff on . Posted in Classical Mechanics

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Motion is the acceleration, displacement, or velocity of an object relative to a given frame of reference.  There are four basic types of motion with each one moving different than the other.  There is a fifth called irregular motion which does not actually count as one.

Types of Motion

  • Linear motion is anything that moves in a straight line.
  • Oscillating motion (simple harmonic motion) moves repeatedly back and forth.
  • Rotary motion is anything that moves in a circle.
  • Reciprocating motion moves backwards and forwards in a straight line.
  • Irregular motion is any motion that has no fixed pattern.

Linear Motion

Linear Motion Formula

\(\large{ x = \bar {v} t  \;\;\;\;\; \bar {v}  =  \frac{v_i + v }{2}   }\)

\(\large{ v =  v_i + at  }\)

\(\large{ x =  v_i t +  \frac {1}{2}  at^2   }\)       

\(\large{ v^2 =  v_{i}{^2} + 2ax  }\)


\(\large{ x }\) = position (linear motion)

\(\large{ a }\) = acceleration

\(\large{ v }\) = velocity

\(\large{ v_i }\) = initial velocity

\(\large{ \bar {v} }\) = averave velocity

\(\large{ t }\) = time

Rotational Motion

Rotational Motion Formula

\(\large{ \theta = \bar {\omega} t  }\)         


\(\large{ \theta }\)  (Greek symbol theta) = angular position (rotational motion)

\(\large{ \bar {\omega} }\)  (Greek symbol omega) = averave angular velocity

\(\large{ t }\) = time


Tags: Equations for Motion