Linear Motion

(Lecture: 10 minutes)

  • Equations of motion and how to solve them


This lecture was originally part of the Turntable Hockey activity. The goal is to derive, and then solve, the differential equations which describe linear motion as seen in a rotating frame.

The derivation is straightforward: Simply set the true accelaration equal to zero in the modified second law, and write down the components in terms of rotating coordinates. The result is a system of coupled second-order ODEs.

The solution of these equations is not difficult, and is of possible interest to students in its own right. But there is no point in rushing through it. A possibly better choice is to quickly derive the equations, then ask for student feedback — possibly as a SWBQ — on ways to solve it. The actual solution can then be skipped — but do emphasize that it is precisely the solutions to these equations which are studied in the Turntable Hockey activity.

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