3 Laws of Motion ,Types & Parameters [PDF]

In this article, we shall learn the various laws of motion types and parameters. We have provided a PDF download link at the very end.

Laws Of Motion

What is motion?

Motion is the change in position or orientation of an object over time. Everything in this universe is in constant motion, including the movements of animals and humans. Apart from that, the elementary particles of matter, also called atoms, are also in a state of continuous motion. This means that all physical processes in this universe have some motion, and that motion is either slow or fast, but always present.

Movement is the act of changing an object’s position over time, governed by laws of physics. It can be observed in linear, rotational, or oscillatory forms and measured by parameters such as displacement, velocity, acceleration, and momentum.

Laws of Motion
Defining Motion

The determination of a moving object is made by contrasting its current position with its original position, which allows one to detect any change in position over time. This change is referred to as motion. Some objects appear stationary, such as the Earth, but in fact, are in motion. Hence, objects that seem stationary on the Earth are, in reality, moving (i.e., they spin and orbit). This page provides clear identification of the dissimilarities between rest and exercise, various types of exercise, and exemplification.

What Are Laws Of Motion

The laws of motion also called Newton’s laws of motion, are fundamental principles that explain how objects behave while in motion. They were introduced by Sir Isaac Newton in 1687 in his publication “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.” The laws consist of three principles: the law of inertia, the law of acceleration, and the law of action and reaction. These laws are used in many fields, including engineering, physics, and astronomy. Acknowledging the source of information is crucial, and any written work should be original and free from plagiarism.

How to identify moving objects?

Based on the preceding information, it is evident that the detection of an object’s motion can be achieved by contrasting its current position with its original position, with a change in position over time denoting motion. In some cases, objects such as the Earth, which may appear to be stationary, are in continuous motion. Therefore, anything that appears stationary on the Earth, including its rotation and orbit, is indeed in motion.

How to Identify Motion

How to determine if an object is moving: Moving Parameters?

An orange falling from a tree, water running from a faucet, and a rattling window all indicate that an object is in motion. So, let’s take a look at the following key terms that help us determine motion:

  • Distance: The distance traveled by an object is defined as the total path length traveled by the object.  is a scalar quantity. Its SI unit is the meter (m).
  • Speed: Object speed indicates how fast or slow an object is moving. It is defined as the distance traveled by an object in a unit of time. Let d be the distance traveled by the object and t be the time it takes the object to travel this distance, then the speed of the object is given by S=dt. Object speed is measured in meters per second (ms–1).
  • Displacement: The shortest distance between the end and start positions of moving objects. vector size. Its SI unit is the meter (m). Suppose an object follows a curve from point A to point B. In this case, the distance moved by the object is the length of the curve, but the displacement of the object is given by the shortest length between points A and B.
  • Velocity: It is defined as the rate of change of an object’s position relative to a reference frame or displacement per unit of time. It is a vector quantity and can be measured in meters per second
  • Acceleration: It is defined as the rate of change in velocity. The object’s acceleration is given by a = (v−u)t, where u is the object’s initial velocity, v is the object’s final velocity, and t is the duration. It is a vector quantity and its SI unit is (ms–2).
Laws of Motion

Distance & Displacement

Understanding the difference between distance and displacement is essential when describing object motion, as they can have different values even when the object travels along the same path.

  • Distance and displacement are concepts used in physics to describe an object’s motion.
  • Distance is a scalar quantity that measures the total length covered by an object, regardless of direction.
  • Displacement is a vector quantity that measures the change in position from initial to final, considering direction and magnitude.
  • Distance and displacement are related but not the same.
  • Distance measures the path taken by an object, while displacement measures the change in position.
  • For example, walking in a straight line from point A to B will have the same distance as the straight-line distance between the two points. However, the displacement will be the distance between the starting position at A and the final position at B.

Types of Motion

We shall now delve into the various types of motion exhibited by objects, namely linear motion, rotary motion, oscillatory motion, and periodic motion. Each of these distinct motion types is facilitated by specialized mechanical mechanisms. Let us proceed to examine each of these motion types in comprehensive detail.

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Linear Motion

In linear motion, an object moves from one position to another either in a curved direction or in a straight line. Given the type of direction taken by an object, linear motion is similarly classified as follows:

Rectilinear Motion – The path taken by the body is straight.

Rectilinear Motion

Curvilinear Motion – The path taken by the body is curved.

Curvilinear motion

One beautiful example of linear motion is a linear actuator. With linear actuators, cars, bicycles, trains, and various automobiles can be found moving in one linear direction. However, although trams and rails are perfectly circular, they are not called linear motion. You can also find linear cylinders that exhibit linear motion in pneumatic, hydraulic and electric options. Linear motion is very important in fields such as manufacturing, automation, and robotics.

Rotary Motion

Rotational motion is a type of motion in which an object undergoes circular motion. This type of motion occurs when an object rotates around its position or axis. The rotary movement became the first type of movement invented by ancient scientists. Some examples to help understand rotational motion are:

Rotatory Motion

An excellent illustration of rotational motion is the Earth’s orbit around the sun. Similarly, when driving a car, the wheels and steering wheel rotate around their respective axes. This also holds for car engines, where rotary drives, similar to linear cylinders, are widely utilized in diverse industrial settings. These cylinders are obtainable in different configurations, including pneumatic, electric, and hydraulic options.

Oscillatory Motion

The third type of motion is known for the periodic to-and-fro oscillations of objects. Oscillatory motion can be defined as the motion of a body around its mean position, whereby an object appears to be oscillating if it repeats its motion cycle at set intervals.

Oscillatory Motion

A prime instance of oscillatory motion is the clock pendulum, which exhibits repetitive motion after a fixed interval, while still retaining its position. This type of movement is known as an oscillatory motion, where the vibration of the body results from the recurring nature of the motion that occurs at set intervals. Below are several depictions of oscillatory motion.

  • When a toddler bounces back and forth on a fixed position on the swing.
  • A fan is another example of periodic motion.
  • In addition to rotary drives, both linear drives have an oscillating motion.
  • Waves Sound waves are the result of the vibration of particles.
  • Strumming a sitar or guitar string causes it to move back and forth around the center (oscillating motion).

Circular Motion

An object in a circular orbit is called circular motion. The object’s distance from the center of the circular path remains constant. For example, a man sitting on a Ferris wheel and the moon’s orbit around the Earth.

Circular Motion

Laws of Motion

Sir Isaac Newton studied Galileo’s idea that objects move with constant velocity when no forces act on them and gave three basic laws that govern their motion. Newton’s laws of motion are:

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Newton’s First Law of Motion

An object remains at rest or in uniform linear motion unless an applied force forces it to change its state. This law is also called the law of inertia. The term inertia refers to the tendency of an object to resist changes in its existing state of rest or motion.

1st Law of Motion Example
  • Inertia: The property of matter that prevents the body from moving or changing on its own movement.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion

This law indicates that the alteration in a body’s momentum is directly proportional to the imbalance force exerted on the body in the direction of the force. The mass of the moving body is represented by (m), while the final and initial velocities are represented by (v) and (u), respectively. The applied force is represented by (F).

2nd Law of Motion Example

where k is the constant of proportionality with a value of 1 and a is the acceleration of the body.


  • a=(v-u)/t
  • F=kma
  • F=ma

Newton’s Third Law of Motion

This law stipulates that for every action, there exists an equal and opposite reaction. For instance, if an object with a certain weight (F1) applies force on the ground, the ground exerts a corresponding opposing force (F2) on the object.

3rd Law of Motion Example
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Equations of Motion

The three equations of motion relate to the initial velocity of the object (u), the final velocity of the object (v), the distance traveled by the object (s), the time taken (t), and the acceleration (a) is achieved by an object undergoing constantly accelerated motion.

  • v=u+at
  • s=ut+(1/2)at2
  • v2–u2=2as


In conclusion, the laws of motion established by Newton are crucial in understanding the science of motion. The study of various types and parameters of motion helps us appreciate the forces that govern the natural world.

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