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Q:

# What are some examples of rectilinear motion?

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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.

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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.

## Related Questions

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Riding a bike is an example of Newton's third law of motion because the force needed to pedal a bike forward, which is the force that the tire exerts on the ground, is equal to the force of the ground pushing against the tire. The real-world example of riding a bike can also be used to demonstrate Newton's first and second laws of motion.

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An example of Newton's second law of motion would be if someone's car ran out of gas and they tried to push it and, because the car is much heavier, it would require more force to push than if it was a lighter object, like a bicycle. This example relates to Newton's second law of motion because this law stipulates that the heavier an object is, the more force will be required to move the object and give it acceleration.

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Common examples of simple harmonic motion include an object attached to a spring, a swinging pendulum and loudspeakers. Simple harmonic motion refers to the swinging motion exhibited by any object in the presence of Hooke's law force and absence of frictional force.