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Motion – Types of Motion!

Motion is defined as the movement of a body from one position to another with respect to time.  The motion is shown by every object, every particle. Be it an atom or nuclear accelerator. A moving car, a moving accelerator, and even the respiration in which air moves towards our lungs shows motion. The motion can be slow or fast but it exists in each and every particle. The motion is described in terms of time, distance, displacement and speed.

Distance is defined as the distance covered by an object in given interval of time. It is scalar quantity and measured in meters,

Displacement is the vector quantity which is defined as the shortest distance between two points.


There are mainly four types of motion that a particle follows given as –

  1. Rotary motion

Rotary motion is defined as the motion in which the body rotes on its axis or in simple words, the body moves in circle.

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  1. The motion of earth about its own axis and revolute around the sun.
  2. The hands of a clock
  3. Hoola hoops
  4. Rotation of ceiling fan

  1. Linear motion

The linear motion is a motion in which the particle moves from one point to another in a straight or linear path.

The linear motion is further characterized in two motions- rectilinear motion and curvilinear motion.

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Rectilinear motion is defined as that motion in which the body moves in a straight path.


  1. Motion of a train
  2. Motion of a car

Curvilinear motion is defined as the motion in which the body moves in curved path.


  1. Motion of a train on curved path
  2. Motion of a car on curved path.

  1. Oscillatory motion

Oscillatory motion is defined as the motion is the motion of a body about its mean position.


  1. The Pendulum of a clock exhibit oscillatory motion  
  2. The string of a guitar shows to and fro motion by its mean position resulting in an oscillatory motion.
  3. When a child on a swing is pushed, the swing moves to and fro about its mean position shows oscillatory motion.

To study these motions more thoroughly, three laws of motion came into existence which states that –

  1. First law of motion

The objects tend to be in motion or at rest unless and until acted upon by some external forces.

Example – wearing a seat belt in a car while driving is an example of Newton’s first law.

  1. Second law of motion

The force is equal to mass times acceleration.

Example – If you use the same force to push a truck and push a car, the car will have more acceleration than the truck, because the car has less mass

  1. Third law of motion

For every action there is equal and opposite reactions.

Example- firing a bullet from a gun follows third law of Newton.

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