The movement of objects can be described using motion graphs and numerical values. These are both used to help in the design of faster and more efficient vehicles.

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If an object moves along a straight line, its motion can be represented by a velocity-time graph. The gradient of the line is equal to the acceleration of the object.

The table shows what each section of the graph represents:

Section of graph | Gradient | Velocity | Acceleration |
---|---|---|---|

A | Positive | Increasing | Positive |

B | Zero | Constant | Zero |

C | Negative | Decreasing | Negative |

D (v = 0) | Zero | Stationary (at rest) | Zero |

The area under the graph can be calculated by:

- using geometry (if the lines are straight)
- counting the squares beneath the line (particularly if the lines are curved)

Calculate the total displacement of the object, whose motion is represented by the velocity-time graph below.

Here, the displacement can be found by calculating the total area of the shaded sections below the line.

Find the area of the triangle:

Find the area of the rectangle:

base × height

(10 - 4) × 8 = 48 m^{2}

Add the areas together to find the total displacement:

(16 + 48) = 64 m