One of the most important properties of the objects that make up our physical world is the fact that they can move. Motion is all around us, from falling leaves and tumbling rocks, to moving people and speeding cars, to jet planes, orbiting space satellites, and planets. Understanding what motion is, how it can be described, and why it occurs, or doesn’t occur, are therefore essential to understanding the nature of the physical world. You saw in the Prologue that Plato and others argued that mathematics can be used as a tool for comprehending the basic principles of nature. You also saw that we can use this tool to great advantage when we apply it to precise observations and experiments. This chapter shows how these two features of modern physics—mathematics and experiment—work together in helping us to understand the thing we call motion.
KeywordsAverage Speed Time Reading Picture Motion Incline Plane Free Fall
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- G. Holton and S.G. Brush, Physics, The Human Adventure (Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001), Chapter 6 and 7.Google Scholar