Linear motion
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Classical mechanics 

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Linear motion (also called rectilinear motion^{[1]}) is a onedimensional motion along a straight line, and can therefore be described mathematically using only one spatial dimension. The linear motion can be of two types: uniform linear motion with constant velocity or zero acceleration; non uniform linear motion with variable velocity or nonzero acceleration. The motion of a particle (a pointlike object) along a line can be described by its position , which varies with (time). An example of linear motion is an athlete running 100m along a straight track.^{[2]}
Linear motion is the most basic of all motion. According to Newton's first law of motion, objects that do not experience any net force will continue to move in a straight line with a constant velocity until they are subjected to a net force. Under everyday circumstances, external forces such as gravity and friction can cause an object to change the direction of its motion, so that its motion cannot be described as linear.^{[3]}
One may compare linear motion to general motion. In general motion, a particle's position and velocity are described by vectors, which have a magnitude and direction. In linear motion, the directions of all the vectors describing the system are equal and constant which means the objects move along the same axis and do not change direction. The analysis of such systems may therefore be simplified by neglecting the direction components of the vectors involved and dealing only with the magnitude.^{[2]}
Neglecting the rotation and other motions of the Earth, an example of linear motion is the ball thrown straight up and falling back straight down.
Displacement
The motion in which all the particles of a body move through the same distance in the same time is called translatory motion. There are two types of translatory motions: rectilinear motion; curvilinear motion. Since linear motion is a motion in a single dimension, the distance traveled by an object in particular direction is the same as displacement.^{[4]} The SI unit of displacement is the metre.^{[5]}^{[6]} If is the initial position of an object and is the final position, then mathematically the displacement is given by:
The equivalent of displacement in rotational motion is the angular displacement measured in radian. The displacement of an object cannot be greater than the distance because it is also a distance but the shortest one. Consider a person travelling to work daily. Overall displacement when he returns home is zero, since the person ends up back where he started, but the distance travelled is clearly not zero.
Velocity
Velocity = displacement / time. Velocity is defined as the rate of change of displacement with respect to time.^{[7]} The SI unit of velocity is or metre per second.^{[6]}
Average velocity
The average velocity is the ratio of total displacement taken over time interval . Mathematically, it is given by:^{[8]}^{[9]}
where:
is the time at which the object was at position
is the time at which the object was at position
Instantaneous velocity
The instantaneous velocity can be found by differentiating the displacement with respect to time.
Speed
Speed is the absolute value of velocity i.e. speed is always positive. The unit of speed is metre per second.^{[10]} If is the speed then,
The magnitude of the instantaneous velocity is the instantaneous speed.
Acceleration
Acceleration is defined as the rate of change of velocity with respect to time. Acceleration is the second derivative of displacement i.e. acceleration can be found by differentiating position with respect to time twice or differentiating velocity with respect to time once.^{[11]} The SI unit of acceleration is or metre per second squared.^{[6]}
If is the average acceleration and is the average velocity over the time interval then mathematically,
The instantaneous acceleration is the limit of the ratio and as approaches zero i.e.,
Jerk
The rate of change of acceleration, the third derivative of displacement is known as jerk.^{[12]} The SI unit of jerk is . In the UK jerk is also known as jolt.
Jounce
The rate of change of jerk, the fourth derivative of displacement is known as jounce.^{[12]} The SI unit of jounce is which can be pronounced as metres per quartic second.
Equations of kinematics
In case of constant acceleration, the four physical quantities acceleration, velocity, time and displacement can be related by using the Equations of motion^{[13]}^{[14]}^{[15]}
here,
is the initial velocity
is the final velocity
is the acceleration
is the displacement
is the time
These relationships can be demonstrated graphically. The gradient of a line on a displacement time graph represents the velocity. The gradient of the velocity time graph gives the acceleration while the area under the velocity time graph gives the displacement. The area under an acceleration time graph gives the change in velocity.
Analogy between linear and rotational motion
The following table refers to rotation of a rigid body about a fixed axis: is arclength, is the distance from the axis to any point, and is the tangential acceleration, which is the component of the acceleration that is parallel to the motion. In contrast, the centripetal acceleration, , is perpendicular to the motion. The component of the force parallel to the motion, or equivalently, perpendicular to the line connecting the point of application to the axis is . The sum is over particles and/or points of application.
Linear motion  Rotational motion  Defining equation 

Displacement =  Angular displacement =  
Velocity =  Angular velocity =  
Acceleration =  Angular acceleration =  
Mass =  Moment of Inertia =  
Force =  Torque =  
Momentum=  Angular momentum=  
Kinetic energy =  Kinetic energy =  
The following table shows the analogy in derived SI units:
See also
 Angular motion
 Centripetal force
 Inertial frame of reference
 Linear actuator
 Linear bearing
 Mechanics of planar particle motion
 Motion graphs and derivatives
 Reciprocating motion
 Rectilinear propagation
 Uniformly accelerated linear motion
References
 ↑ Resnick, Robert and Halliday, David (1966), Physics, Section 34
 1 2 "Basic principles for understanding sport mechanics".
 ↑ "Motion Control Resource Info Center". Retrieved 19 January 2011.
 ↑ "Distance and Displacement".
 ↑ "SI Units".
 1 2 3 "SI Units".
 ↑ "Speed & Velocity".
 ↑ "Average speed and average velocity".
 ↑ "Average Velocity, Straight Line".
 ↑ "Speed and velocity".
 ↑ "Acceleration". Archived from the original on 20110808.
 1 2 "What is the term used for the third derivative of position?".
 ↑ "Equations of motion" (PDF).
 ↑ "Description of Motion in One Dimension".
 ↑ "What is derivatives of displacement?".
 ↑ "Linear Motion vs Rotational motion" (PDF).
Further reading
 Resnick, Robert and Halliday, David (1966), Physics, Chapter 3 (Vol I and II, Combined edition), Wiley International Edition, Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 6611527
 Tipler P.A., Mosca G., "Physics for Scientists and Engineers", Chapter 2 (5th edition), W. H. Freeman and company: New York and Basing stoke, 2003.