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written by Tom Henderson
This 3-part tutorial, developed for high school physics students, uses multiple graphs to study the relationship between the motion of an object and the shape of its p-t graph. Special attention is given to the meaning of the graph's shape to help beginners differentiate constant velocity from accelerated motion. The slope equation is illustrated in an interactive format allowing for learner self-evaluation.  The tutorial is designed in a manner to help dispel common student misconceptions about the meaning of position. See Related Materials for an accompanying lab by the same author.

This item is part of The Physics Classroom, a comprehensive set of tutorials and multimedia resources for high school physics students.
Editor's Note: Education research indicates that students have difficulty relating real-world motion to a graph. In particular, many incorrectly plot position graphs as the path of an object. See Related Materials for a free research-based diagnostic tool to probe misconceptions related to motion and force.

NGSS and Common Core Standards (10)

Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Position & Displacement
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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