Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Velocity versus Time Graph help?

  1. Sep 13, 2014 #1
    What does a vertical line graph pointing straight up mean? Same for down? What does a horizontal line mean?

    y axis=velocity (m/s)

    x axis=time (s)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2014 #2

    Bandersnatch

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Vertical line doesn't mean anything. It's not even a proper function. f(x) can have only one output per x.
    It doesn't make sense intuitively either: one body cannot have simultaneously every possible velocity.

    Horizontal means constancy.
     
  4. Sep 13, 2014 #3
    I was doing a lab with my group where we had to use a motion detector to match the target graphs given. And yes, my axes are correct. (University Physics 1)
     
  5. Sep 13, 2014 #4
    Velocity=(m/s)

    Time=(s)
     
  6. Sep 13, 2014 #5

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Bandersnatch is correct. A vertical line on a velocity time graph is nonsense. It means that the object has every velocity and only exists for an instant.

    A horizontal line means a constant speed.
     
  7. Sep 13, 2014 #6

    sophiecentaur

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It could help to add that a 'nearly vertical' line would represent a very rapid change of velocity - thus avoiding the problem of every velocity existing at once. 'Near as dammit', instant change of velocity - as when a ball bearing hits the front of a locomotive. The line is not quite vertical.
     
  8. Sep 13, 2014 #7

    HallsofIvy

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Right- the ball bearing has just enough time to say "ouch"!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Velocity versus Time Graph help?
Loading...