Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

WikiPremed Resources

Module 1 in the Syllabus

Kinematics Cards
Chapter from the Wisebridge Learning System for Physics

Kinematics Concepts
PDF document presenting the central concepts of kinematics.

Kinematics Practice Items
Problem set for Kinematics in PDF format

Answer Key
Answers and explanations for practice items

Triangles and Trig
Review sheet for the important right triangles

Kinematics Images
Image gallery for study with links to larger teaching JPEGs for classroom presentation

Question Drill for Kinematics
Conceptual Vocabulary Self-Test

Basic Terms Crossword Puzzle

Basic Puzzle Solution


Overview of Kinematics
Kinematics gives you the tools you need to describe motion. You don't address the causes of motion in Kinematics. The causes of motion are the domain of Dynamics in which Newton's Laws are introduced. Kinematics uses mathematics to describe motion using the concepts of space and time.

Kinematics on the MCAT
For the MCAT, Kinematics is an important topic, both in itself and as a primary underpinning of Physics. Kinematics is one of the main areas from which the MCAT writers draw 'plug and chug' problems for the exam. Although there are only a few quantitative problems on a typical MCAT, one or two of them are frequently kinematics problems. In addition to practicing quantitative problems, you should encourage yourself in kinematics to imagine the model mechanical system, simple bodies moving in free space. Practice visualizing motion while conceptualizing displacement, velocity, and acceleration. Concentrate on building a mental space for mechanics as an imaginative skill, a capability that will help you throughout physics.

Conceptual Vocabulary
KinematicsKinematics is a branch of mechanics which provides the basic tools for describing the motion of objects.
AccelerationAcceleration is defined as the rate of change of the velocity.
VelocityVelocity is defined as the rate of change of the position.
MotionMotion means a continuous change in the position of a body relative to a reference point.
SpeedSpeed is the magnitude of the velocity.
DistanceDistance is a numerical description of how far apart objects are at any given moment in time.
DisplacementDisplacement is the vector that specifies the position of a point or a particle in reference to an origin or to a previous position.
ScalarA scalar is a simple physical quantity that does not depend on direction, and is therefore not changed by coordinate system rotations.
VectorA vector is a physical quantity characterized by both magnitude and direction.
Uniform circular motionUniform circular motion describes motion in which an object moves with constant speed along a circular path.
Free-fallFree fall is motion with no acceleration other than that provided by gravity.
Frame of referenceA frame of reference is a particular perspective from which the universe is observed, providing a set of axes from which an observer can measure the position and motion of all points in a system.
TrajectoryA trajectory is the path a moving object follows through space.
Position vectorA position vector represents the location of an object in space in relation to an arbitrary inertial frame of reference.
International System of UnitsThe International System of Units (abbreviated SI) is the world's most widely used system of units.
Standard gravityStandard gravity is the nominal acceleration due to gravity at the Earth's surface at sea level.
Translational kinematicsTranslational kinematics or linear kinematics is the science in classical mechanics of describing the motion of a point particle.
BallisticsBallistics is the science of mechanics that deals with the motion, behavior, and effects of projectiles.
JerkJerk, jolt, surge or lurch, is defined as the rate of change of the acceleration.
SnapSnap or jounce is the fourth derivative of the displacement vector with respect to time, with the first, second, and third derivatives being velocity, acceleration, and jerk, respectively.

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