Different Types of Motion

Different Types of Motion

Linear motion

It is an example of easiest type of motion. If anything moves along a straight line then its motion is called a linear motion. If an object is pushed off on a plane surface then it moves along a straight line. If a ball is allowed to fall from a height, it will fall straight downwards, so it is also a linear motion.

Circular motion

When a body rotates about a particular point or a line, keeping the distance of the particles of the body unchanged, it is called circular motion. Though the motion of electric fans, hands of clocks, etc are the examples of circular motion, a wonderful example of circular motion is the moon in the sky. Moon is not tied by to the earth although it is revolving around the earth, neither is it falling on to the earth's surface.

Translational motion

If an object moves in such a way that all the particles of the object travel the same distance, at the same time, in the same direction then its motion is called translational motion. Sometimes we see many examples of this type in our surroundings. When something moves in a straight path then its example is very common. If we do not consider the circular motion of the wheel of a car then straight advancement of the car is an example of translational motion. At this time every point of the car will travel the same distance, in equal time, in the same direction. There is no obligation that the translational motion will be straight. But the example of translational motion is not easily available in the case of a curved path.

Periodic Motion

If the motion of a moving object is such that it passes repeatedly through a definite point in the same direction in the same manner in a definite interval of time, then this motion is called a periodic motion. The vibrational motion of our heart is periodic, since it vibrates in the same direction in the same manner after a definite interval of time. The periodic motion may be circular (motion of the blades of a fan), hyperbolic (orbit of Haley's Comet around the sun) or linear (oscillatory motion of an object hanging from a spring). Circular motion is a special type of periodic motion.

Heartbeat is a type of periodic motion.

Simple Harmonic Motion

Simple harmonic motion is a special type of periodic motion. In case of oscillatory motion the object oscillates on both sides of a definite point. Starting from its complete rest position, the objects starts moving slowly. When the object comes to the centre it has the maximum velocity, then its velocity starts to decrease until it comes to rest. Then it changes it path of motion and moves in the opposite direction. In the opposite direction when maximum velocity is attained, then its velocity decreases again. It stops it motion completely, and starts to repeat its motion slowly again in the previous direction. It continues its motion in this fashion.

There are so many examples of oscillatory motion around us. The motion of an object hang from a spring is an example of oscillatory motion. A oscillatory baby on a swing or the pendulum of a clock are the examples of oscillatory motion. When we speak then the air molecules carry the sound forward by this type of motion.

So far we have discussed some special types of motion but the causes of these motions have not been mentioned anywhere. The major success of physics is that not only can it find the causes of the different types of motion of objects but it can also explain the motion very clearly.

Vibratory motion

If a body executing periodic motion moves in a definite direction for one half of its time period and exactly for the other half in the opposite direction then this motion is called vibratory motion.

Rectilinear motion

When a body moves along a straight line in such a way that each particle of the body travels the same distance at the same time in the same direction is called rectilinear motion.

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