# Equation of motion Definition and 28 Discussions

In physics, equations of motion are equations that describe the behavior of a physical system in terms of its motion as a function of time. More specifically, the equations of motion describe the behavior of a physical system as a set of mathematical functions in terms of dynamic variables. These variables are usually spatial coordinates and time, but may include momentum components. The most general choice are generalized coordinates which can be any convenient variables characteristic of the physical system. The functions are defined in a Euclidean space in classical mechanics, but are replaced by curved spaces in relativity. If the dynamics of a system is known, the equations are the solutions for the differential equations describing the motion of the dynamics.
There are two main descriptions of motion: dynamics and kinematics. Dynamics is general, since the momenta, forces and energy of the particles are taken into account. In this instance, sometimes the term dynamics refers to the differential equations that the system satisfies (e.g., Newton's second law or Euler–Lagrange equations), and sometimes to the solutions to those equations.
However, kinematics is simpler. It concerns only variables derived from the positions of objects and time. In circumstances of constant acceleration, these simpler equations of motion are usually referred to as the SUVAT equations, arising from the definitions of kinematic quantities: displacement (s), initial velocity (u), final velocity (v), acceleration (a), and time (t).
Equations of motion can therefore be grouped under these main classifiers of motion. In all cases, the main types of motion are translations, rotations, oscillations, or any combinations of these.
A differential equation of motion, usually identified as some physical law and applying definitions of physical quantities, is used to set up an equation for the problem. Solving the differential equation will lead to a general solution with arbitrary constants, the arbitrariness corresponding to a family of solutions. A particular solution can be obtained by setting the initial values, which fixes the values of the constants.
To state this formally, in general an equation of motion M is a function of the position r of the object, its velocity (the first time derivative of r, v = dr/dt), and its acceleration (the second derivative of r, a = d2r/dt2), and time t. Euclidean vectors in 3D are denoted throughout in bold. This is equivalent to saying an equation of motion in r is a second-order ordinary differential equation (ODE) in r,

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{\displaystyle M\left[\mathbf {r} (t),\mathbf {\dot {r}} (t),\mathbf {\ddot {r}} (t),t\right]=0\,,}
where t is time, and each overdot denotes one time derivative. The initial conditions are given by the constant values at t = 0,

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{\displaystyle \mathbf {r} (0)\,,\quad \mathbf {\dot {r}} (0)\,.}
The solution r(t) to the equation of motion, with specified initial values, describes the system for all times t after t = 0. Other dynamical variables like the momentum p of the object, or quantities derived from r and p like angular momentum, can be used in place of r as the quantity to solve for from some equation of motion, although the position of the object at time t is by far the most sought-after quantity.
Sometimes, the equation will be linear and is more likely to be exactly solvable. In general, the equation will be non-linear, and cannot be solved exactly so a variety of approximations must be used. The solutions to nonlinear equations may show chaotic behavior depending on how sensitive the system is to the initial conditions.

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1. ### Engineering Equilibrium and stability

When I use Lagrange to get the equations of motion, in order to find the equilibrium conditions I set the parameters q as constants thus the derivatives to be zero and then calculate the q's that satisfy the equations of motion obtained. In ordert to check about stability I think I need to add...

7. ### Is it possible to integrate acceleration?

Alright so I was just messing around with Lagrangian equation, I just learned about it, and I had gotten to this equation of motion: Mg*sin{α} - 1.5m*x(double dot)=0 I am trying to get velocity, and my first thought was to integrate with dt, but I didn't know how to. And I'm not even sure it's...
8. ### Converting a nonlinear eqn of motion to a state-space model

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9. ### Deriving the small-x approximation for an equation of motion

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11. ### A weird velocity/acceleration question

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12. M

### Find the time dependence.... (Mechanics)

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15. ### Does rotational motion affect the translational motion?

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16. ### Elastic Pendulum with Newton's equations of motion

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17. ### Seismic isolator based on magnetic forces

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18. ### Motion under influence of a resistive force

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19. ### I Evolution style algorithm to determine EOM

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20. ### Kinematics Equation

When we apply this equation ? v^2-u^2=kt^2/2m
21. ### Equations of motion for 4 dof

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22. ### Help with Projectile motion- equation problem

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23. ### Motion equation in the vertical plane along a cylinder

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24. ### Find the differential equation and velocity

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25. ### Predict the position of a particle on a rigid body

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26. ### Equation of motion from the action

Hello Physics Forums! Supposing that we have an action that says: $$L=\frac{1}{2}R-g_{C\bar{D}}\partial_{\mu}z^C\partial^{\mu}\bar{z}^D+\frac{1}{4} + \frac{1}{4}ImM_{IJ}F^I_{\mu\nu}\cdot F^{J\mu\nu} +\frac{1}{4}ReM_{IJ}F^I_{\mu\nu}\cdot \tilde{F}^{J\mu\nu}$$ where...
27. ### Pendulum: equation of motion

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28. ### Hamilton EOM for the the Schwarzschild metrics

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