Understanding The Basics of Motion

Motion is defined as a change in position of an object with respect to the time interval. Motion can be described by various terms like displacement, acceleration, velocity, speed and distance. Further, in this article, you will understand the different types of motion and their types and also the concept of motion in a plane.

Understanding The Basics of Motion
Understanding The Basics of Motion

Types of motion

Motion can be divided into the following four types:

  1. Linear motion
  2. Rotational motion
  3. Oscillatory motion
  4. Random motion

Linear motion:

Linear motion is defined as the motion in which there is a change of location that is the body moves from one point to another. It is also known as rectilinear motion. The motion takes place along the straight line and therefore it is a one-dimensional motion. The linear motion is further divided into two:

  • Uniform linear motion: The body will have a constant velocity or a zero acceleration.
  • Non-uniform linear motion: The body will have either varying velocity or acceleration.

Rotational motion:

Rotational motion is defined as the motion in which the object moves in a circular motion around a center of rotation. It is a three-dimensional motion. Following are the terms associated with rotational motion:

  • Angular position: For a line, the angular position is defined as an angle which is relative to the fixed direction. The unit of angular position is radians.
  • Angular displacement: It is defined as the angle through which an object has revolved around the centre. The unit of angular displacement is radians or degrees.
  • Angular velocity: It is defined as the ratio of angular displacement and time. It is measured in rad/s and is denoted by ω.
  • Angular acceleration: It is defined as the ratio of change in angular velocity to change in time. It is measured in rad/s2 and is denoted by α.

Oscillatory motion:

Oscillatory motion is defined as the repeated motion of an object. For an oscillatory motion to continue forever, there shouldn’t be friction. Example of oscillatory motion is swinging of the pendulum. An oscillatory motion has the following types:

  • Simple harmonic motion: In this type of motion, the restoring force is directly proportional to the displacement. Examples of simple harmonic motion are an oscillation of spring, a mass attached on a string.
  • Coupled oscillations: The oscillation that occurs when two or more oscillating systems are connected in a way such that the energy is exchanged between during the motion. Examples of coupled oscillation are orbiting of the moon and the earth.
  • Damped oscillations: The type of oscillation that fades away with time. Examples of damped oscillation are RCL circuit, swinging of the pendulum.

What is motion in a plane?

Motion in a plane refers to the two-dimensional motion of the objects. The reason why 2D is referred to because two dimensions make a plane. The plane has two coordinate axes X and Y. Following are the equations of plane motion:

v = u + at
s = ut + 1/2 at2
v2 = u2 + 2as


  • v is the final velocity of an object
  • u is the initial velocity of an object
  • s is the displacement of the object
  • a is the acceleration of the object
  • t is the time taken by the object

Interested to learn more about other concepts related to Physics like the angle of incidence, effects of radiation, trade winds etc, visit BYJU’S.

pravesh Maurya

Hey all, I am Pravesh Maurya, as a blogger, writer and content marketer also started to influence marketing. – One place to expand your horizon! We welcome our visitors with a huge collection of informative blogs on trending topics. Be its Finance, Insurance, Tour & Travel, Real Estate, business, shopping and Make Money Online Tips, we have got you covered!