Because rectilinear motion takes place in one straight line, examples include a train following a straight set of tracks, a baseball thrown in a gravity-free vacuum or a penny that someone drops from the top of a tall building, heading straight to the ground. Rectilinear motion is the opposite of curvilinear motion, which involves movement along a fixed curve.Know More
When studying physics, the most common examples of rectilinear motion use falling objects. Because of the effects of gravity and friction on anything moving in a horizontal direction, having those objects continue to move in a perfectly straight line is extremely unlikely. Even in the case of the train, having a perfectly straight track for the complete duration of the trip is not a realistic scenario. However, tracking a falling object involves a straight line, because gravity forces that object to take the straightest path to the ground.
Other physics problems examine the effects of forces such as gravity on an object's rectilinear motion. One common example involves shooting a projectile up into the air. Whether one shoots the object straight up, perpendicular to the ground, or at an angle, gravity almost immediately begins to take effect, slowing the projectile down and, in the case of the angle, turning the rectilinear path into a curvilinear one.Learn more about Motion & Mechanics
Unbalanced force occurs when two forces acting on an object are not equal in size, causing a change in motion. Unbalanced forces cause a still object to move or moving objects to slow down or speed up, stop or change direction.Full Answer >
Inertia is the tendency for an object to remain in motion or at rest unless it is acted upon by an outside force. In the field of physics, this concept is referred to as Newton's first law of motion.Full Answer >
A ball rolls because some force, such as gravity, the wind or a person's foot, acts upon it, setting it into motion. It continues to roll until some other force, such as friction, gravity or a barricade of some sort, causes it to stop.Full Answer >
The force of gravity is the only force that keeps a standard hanging pendulum in motion. It is both the force that increases the speed of the pendulum on its downswing and decreases its speed on its upswing. The force of friction from air is the major reason that the arc of the pendulum's swing diminishes over time.Full Answer >