What is motion in physics?


Quick Answer

Motion is defined as the action of changing position or location. Motion, along with force and energy, are concepts relevant to mechanics, a subject of physics. Within mechanics, there is a more specific field of study called kinematics, and this is the most basic level of mechanics.

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Full Answer

Motion is an extremely important concept in this area of physics, being a prominent idea throughout many basic and advanced topics in this field of science. There are three types of motion: translational, oscillatory and rotational. In translational motion, a change in location occurs while in oscillatory motion, an object is moving but its location stays the same. Some examples of oscillatory motion could be vibrating guitar strings or the pendulum found in grandfather clocks. When these types of oscillatory motions occur, they are referred to as periods, where very period is a cycle of a complete oscillation. Period motion is very important because it concerns essential studies into physical nature, like the study into light, sounds and all other types of waves.

The third type of motion, rotational motion, refers to when an object spins. Rotational motion also occurs in periods, as if in the time it takes for a full rotation. There are numerous examples of rotational motion, from the way the Earth and all other planets spin on their axles to the spinning of record albums, globes and wheels.

The ideas of motion and the forces that act upon them are prominently featured in specific branch of mechanics referred to as dynamics. However, there is another branch of mechanics, called statics, that studies forces within the absence of any motion or energy.

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