PhysicsLAB Worksheet
Accelerated Motion: Analyzing Velocity-Time Graphs

Refer to the following information for the next six questions.

Match the description provided about the behavior of a cart along a linear track to its best graphical representation. Remember that:
  • velocities are positive when the graph is in I quadrant I
  • velocities are negative when the graph is in quadrant IV
  • velocity-time graphs sloping towards the x-axis represent losing speed
  • velocity-time graphs sloping away from the x-axis represent gaining speed
  • the slope of a velocity-time graph represents its acceleration
 
moving in a negative direction and losing speed
 
moving in a positive direction and gaining speed at a slow rate
 
traveling at a steady rate in a positive direction
 
at rest for an extended time
 
moving in a positive direction but losing speed
 
moving in a positive direction and gaining speed at a rapid rate
 
Refer to the following information for the next two questions.

Given below is a velocity-time graph displaying the behavior of a race cart along a linear track.

 
 
During which time interval(s) did it travel in a positive direction?
 
During which time interval(s) did it travel in a negative direction?
 
Refer to the following information for the next eight questions.

Using the same velocity-graph as in section two above, answer these questions regarding how far the cart traveled, its average speeds during each interval, and its displacement. Remember that:
  • velocity is determined by the height of the graph (the y-axis coordinate)
  • acceleration is determined by the slope of the graph
  • displacement is found by calculating the area bounded by the velocity-graph and the x-axis
  • distance traveled would be the absolute value of each sectional area since it is a scalar quantity that does not depend on the direction of travel
  • average speed during a time interval is defined as the total distance it traveled divided by the total time taken
  • average velocity during a time interval is defined as the net displacement divided by the total time taken
 
How far did the cart travel in the first 10 minutes? What was its average acceleration during this time interval? 

Briefly describe its behavior between 10 and 15 minutes?
 

What was its average acceleration between 10 and 15 minutes? 

How far did it travel between 15 and 30 minutes? What was its average acceleration during this time interval? 

How far did it travel between 30 and 40 minutes? What was its average acceleration during this time interval? 

How far did it travel between 40 and 55 minutes? What was its average acceleration during this time interval? 

What was the total distance it traveled? What was its final displacement? 

What was the cart's average speed for the entire 55 minutes? its average velocity? 





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