FHSST Physics/Rectilinear Motion/Definition

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The Free High School Science Texts: A Textbook for High School Students Studying Physics
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Rectilinear Motion
Definition - Speed and Velocity - Graphs - Equations of Motion - Important Equations and Quantities

What is rectilinear motion?[edit]

Rectilinear motion means motion along a straight line. This is a useful topic to study for learning how to describe the movement of cars along a straight road or of trains along straight railway tracks. In this section you have only two directions to worry about: (1) along the direction of motion, and (2) opposite to the direction of motion.

To illustrate this imagine a train heading east.

If it is accelerating away from the station platform (P), the direction of acceleration is the same as the direction of the train's velocity — east. If it is braking the direction of acceleration is opposite to the direction of its motion, i.e. west.