Written by Jerry Ratzlaff on . Posted in Classical Mechanics


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 you could say a fifth called irregular motion.

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Types of Motion

  • Linear motion is anything that moves in a straight line.
  • Oscillator 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

\(x = \bar {v} t \)          \( position  \;=\;  average \; velocity  \;\;x\;\;  time  \)


\(x\) = position (linear motion)

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

\(t\) = time

Rotational Motion

Rotational Motion Formula

\(\theta = \bar {\omega} t \)          \( angular \; position  \;=\;  average \; angular \; velocity  \;\;x\;\;  time  \)


\(\theta\) (Greek symbol theta) = angular position (rotational motion)

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

\(t\) = time


Tags: Equations for Motion