Day 77: Displacement from Velocity-Time Graph

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College-Prep Physics: When an object moves with constant velocity, we know that the area under a velocity-time graph is the displacement. But what about for an object that’s speeding up or slowing down? So we used Logger Pro and a motion detector to get position and velocity data for a cart rolling down a ramp. From the position graph, you see that the cart started at x = 0.2 meter and reached the bottom of the ramp at x = 1.0 meter — which makes the displacement 0.8 meter. Then we used the area tool to find the area under the velocity graph and…. 0.79 meter! Now we’ve got a handy tool for solving for displacement and distance in acceleration problems.

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About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

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