Displacement, Velocity, Acceleration graphs
Worksheet – Work in pairs
- Note : The moving man simulation uses the word ‘position’ to indicate the distance and direction of the man from the origin. In this course we will be using the word ‘displacement’. These words both mean the distance and direction from the origin.
- Open the moving man software simulation from the website
and click the run now button. You may get a message like the following:
Click ‘keep’; this is a safe website.
Now select the charts tab
- Enter a displacement (position) of + 3 m. If the man moves at a velocity of +2 m/s, predict where will he be in 2 seconds time?
Enter these values and run the simulation for 2 seconds or more to check your answer.
- Enter a displacement of 0 m. Enter a velocity of -3 m/s (note the negative sign). What does the negative sign mean? Predict where will the man be after 3 seconds? Test your answer by running the simulation.
- Make the man walk steadily from the house to the tree, stop for 3 seconds, then return to the house at double the speed. What does the displacement graph look like? What does the velocity graph look like? Draw them below
- Interpret the graph below:
Tell the story of what the man did in this graph. Mention both displacement and velocity and how they vary with time.
- Make a simple chart for another pair of students. Get them to read the graph and tell you what the man did.
- Now we are going to experiment with acceleration. Set the displacement to 0m and the velocity to 0 m/s. Set the Acceleration to 1 m/s2. Draw a graph of what you think will happen below:
Now run the simulator and see if you were right.
What shape is the displacement curve?
What shape is the velocity curve?
- Tell the story behind the graphs below. Mention acceleration, velocity and displacement with respect to time.
- Make up a similar scenario, and get another pair of students to interpret it.
- Think carefully about the following two statements:
Velocity is the rate of change of displacement with respect to time.
Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity with respect to time.
Explain these two statements in your own words.
- In the menu bar, select ‘Special Features’, then Expression Evaluator
Enter the equation x(t) = sin(t) and run the simulation. What can you say about the velocity and acceleration when the displacement is a sinusoid?