Because rectilinear motion takes place in one straight line, examples include a train following a straight set of tracks, a baseball thrown in a gravity-free vacuum or a penny that someone drops from the top of a tall building, heading straight to the ground. Rectilinear motion is the opposite of curvilinear motion, which involves movement along a fixed curve.Continue Reading
When studying physics, the most common examples of rectilinear motion use falling objects. Because of the effects of gravity and friction on anything moving in a horizontal direction, having those objects continue to move in a perfectly straight line is extremely unlikely. Even in the case of the train, having a perfectly straight track for the complete duration of the trip is not a realistic scenario. However, tracking a falling object involves a straight line, because gravity forces that object to take the straightest path to the ground.
Other physics problems examine the effects of forces such as gravity on an object's rectilinear motion. One common example involves shooting a projectile up into the air. Whether one shoots the object straight up, perpendicular to the ground, or at an angle, gravity almost immediately begins to take effect, slowing the projectile down and, in the case of the angle, turning the rectilinear path into a curvilinear one.Learn more about Motion & Mechanics
An example of Newton's second law of motion would be if someone's car ran out of gas and they tried to push it and, because the car is much heavier, it would require more force to push than if it was a lighter object, like a bicycle. This example relates to Newton's second law of motion because this law stipulates that the heavier an object is, the more force will be required to move the object and give it acceleration.Full Answer >
Centrifugal force is a term used to describe an imaginary concept that states that during circular motion people and objects are pulled outward from the center, which in fact is caused entirely by inertia. Examples of this inertial phenomenon include cargo swaying when a truck takes a turn and mud flying from a spinning wheel.Full Answer >
Examples of reciprocating motion include a rack and pinion mechanism, a Scotch yoke mechanism and a traversing head shaper. These examples define this repetitive, up-and-down or back-and-forth linear motion.Full Answer >
Some examples of periodic motion include a bouncing basketball, a swinging tire swing, a metronome or a planet in its orbit. Periodic motion is a physics term meaning the repetition of the same motion in the same amount of time.Full Answer >