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Thought Experiment

an attempt at logically reasoning through what has happened.


how close to the true value, or accepted value, a measurment is.


the level of detail to which a measurement is taken.


the appearance of the shift in position of an object due to an actual shift in the position of the observer.

Particle Model

a simplification of a complex system using particle representation.


the focus of study in an expirement or situation.

Frame of Reference

any method for locating an object in time and space.


the change in position of an object


total path traversed during a given interval of time.




any quantity defined by both magnitude and direction


any quantity defined by magnitude

Vector Diagram

using vectors to represent displacment within a particle model.

Average Velocity

the rate of change of position of an object

Instantaneous Velocity

the rate of change of position at a given instant in time.

Average Speed

the total distance traveled during a time interval divided by that time

Instantaneous Speed

the magnitude of instantaneous velocity

Motion Diagram

shows the position of an object at successive times.

Time Interval

the difference between two times.

Coordinate System

a system used to describe motion that gives the zero point location of the variable being studied and the direction in which the values of the variable increase


the point at which both variables have the value zero


the separation between an object and the origin.


the vector that represents the sum of the other two vectors.

Position-Time Graph

data can be represented by plotting the time data on a horizontal axis and the position data on a vertical axis.

Instantaneous Position

the position at a particular instant.

Average Acceleration

the rate of change of velocity.

Free Fall

motion of an object solely under the influence of gravity.


the study of the manner of energy.

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