JEE Physics Notes: Kinematics

Revision Notes on Kinematics

  • Inertial & Non Inertial frame of reference:- Reference frame in which Newtonian mechanics holds are called inertial reference frames or inertial frames. Reference frame in which Newtonian mechanics does not hold are called non-inertial reference frames or non-inertial frames.
  • The average speed vav and average velocity  of a body during a time interval t is defined as,



  • Instantaneous speed and velocity are defined at a particular instant and are given by


(a) A change in either speed or direction of motion results in a change in velocity

(b) A particle which completes one revolution, along a circular path, with uniform speed is said to possess zero velocity and non-zero speed.

(c) It is not possible for a particle to possess zero speed with a non-zero velocity.

  • Average acceleration is defined as the change in velocity  over a time interval delta t.

The instantaneous acceleration of a particle is the rate at which its velocity is changing at that instant.

  • The three equations of motion for an object with constant acceleration are given below.

(a) v= u+at

(b) s= ut+1/2 at2

(c) v2=u2+2as

Here u is the initial velocity, v is the final velocity, a is the acceleration , s is the displacement travelled by the body and t is the time.

Note: Take ‘+ve’ sign for a when the body accelerates and takes ‘–ve’ sign when the body decelerates.

  • Scalar Quantities:- Scalar quantities are those quantities which require only magnitude for their complete specification.(e.g-mass, length, volume, density)
  • Vector Quantities:- Vector quantities are those quantities which require magnitude as well as direction for their complete specification. (e.g-displacement, velocity, acceleration, force)
  • Null Vector (Zero Vectors):- It is a vector having zero magnitude and an arbitrary direction.
  • Collinear vector:- Vectors having a common line of action are called collinear vector. There are two types.

Parallel vector (θ=0°):- Two vectors acting along same direction are called parallel vectors.

Anti parallel vector (θ=180°):-Two vectors which are directed in opposite directions are called anti-parallel vectors.

  • Co-planar vectors- Vectors situated in one plane, irrespective of their directions, are known as co-planar vectors.
  • Vector addition:-

Vector addition is commutative-  

Vector addition is associative-   

Vector addition is distributive-   

  • Triangles Law of Vector addition:– If two vectors are represented by two sides of a triangle, taken in the same order, then their resultant in represented by the third side of the triangle taken in opposite order.

       Magnitude of resultant vector :-


        Here θ is the angle between  and .

        If β is the angle between  and ,



  • If three vectors acting simultaneously on a particle can be represented by the three sides of a triangle taken in the same order, then the particle will remain in equilibrium.


  • Parallelogram law of vector addition:-



Cases 1:- When, θ=0°, then,

 RA+B (maximum), β=0°

Cases 2:- When, θ=180°, then,

RAB (minimum), β=0°

Cases 3:- When, θ=90°, then,

R=√(A2+B2), β = tan-1 (B/A)

  • The process of subtracting one vector from another is equivalent to adding, vectorially, the negative of the vector to be subtracted.


  • Resolution of vector in a plane:-

  • Product of two vectors:-

(a) Dot product or scalar product:-



Here A is the magnitude of B is the magnitude of  and θ  is the angle between  and .

(i) Perpendicular vector:-

(ii) Collinear vector:-

When, Parallel vector (θ=0°),

When, Anti parallel vector (θ=180°),

(b) Cross product or Vector product:-




Here A is the magnitude of B is the magnitude of ,θ is the angle between  and  and  is the unit vector in a direction perpendicular to the plane containing  and .

 (i) Perpendicular vector (θ=90°):-

(ii) Collinear vector:-

When, Parallel vector (θ=0°),(null vector)

When, θ=180°,(null vector)

  • Unit Vector:- Unit vector of any vector is a vector having a unit magnitude, drawn in the direction of the given vector.

  In three dimension,


  • Area:-

Area of triangle:-  

Area of parallelogram:- 

Volume of parallelopiped:-  

  •   Equation of Motion in an Inclined Plane:

(i) Perpendicular vector :-  At the top of the inclined plane (t = 0, u = 0 and a = g sinq  ), the equation of motion will be,

(a) v= (g sinθ)t

(b) s = ½ (g sinθ) t2

(c) v= 2(g sinθ)s

(ii) If time taken by the body to reach the bottom is t, then   s = ½ (gsinθt2

= √(2s/sinθ)

But sinθ =h/s   or sh/sinθ

So, =(1/sinθ) √(2h/g)

(iii) The velocity of the body at the bottom



  • The relative velocity of object A with respect to object B is given by


Here, Vis called reference object velocity.

  • Variation of mass:- In accordance to Einstein’s mass-variation formula, the relativistic mass of body is defined as,


Here, mis the rest mass of the body, v is the speed of the body and c is the speed of light.

  • Projectile motion in a plane:- If a particle having initial speed u is projected at an angle θ (angle of projection) with x-axis, then,

Time of Flight, = (2u sinα)/g

Horizontal Range, u2sin2α/g

Maximum Height, u2sin2α/2g

Equation of trajectory, xtanα-(gx2/2u2cos2α)

  • Motion of a ball:-

(a) When dropped:-  Time period, t=√(2h/g) and speed, v=√(2gh

(b) When thrown up:- Time period, t=u/g and height, h = u2/2g

  • Condition of equilibrium:-


(b) |F1+F2|≥|F3|≥| F1-F2|

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