How can calculus help us in physics? How do we apply calculus to kinematics?

posted Oct 21, 2018, 11:54 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Oct 21, 2018, 12:02 PM ]
F 10/26 lab

Today, for those who haven't completed a calculus course yet, we'll talk about the basics of derivatives and integrals, and see how this would help us with kinematics problems.  You'll be grouped heterogeneously in small groups to learn about derivatives and integrals are.  We'll look particularly at position vs. time graphs and velocity vs. time graphs.

For those students who have already taken calculus, you'll be working the following Chapter 2 problems and non-uniform acceleration worksheet.   (The answer to #1 is incorrect on the website; it should be 1/3 m.)
• For those in multivariable calculus and beyond:
• Required: Ch 2 #66-68, Worksheet #1-3
• Enrichment: Worksheet #4 and AP problem on back - 2010M3
• For those in calculus this year:
• Required: Ch 2 #66, Worksheet #1-3
• Enrichmant: #68
If there is remaining time, you can watch the video below and start problems from the next post.

Homework:  If you have issues understanding how calculus applies to kinematics, rewatch some videos from the past week or read the textbook Chapter 2.  Make sure you've done required problems at least.  QUIZ on Static Equilibrium on Monday, October 29th.  Watch the video below on rotational kinematic variables.  Take notes while you watch!  Understanding these concepts are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in being successful in the rest of this unit, so take the time to rewind and rewatch as needed.  (When Mr. Fullerton derives centripetal acceleration in minute 13, he talks about unit vectors.  "I-hat" is a unit vector magnitude 1 in the x direction.  "J-hat" is a unit vector magnitude 1 in the y direction.  Unit vectors are really just multipliers which turn scalar magnitudes into vectors with direction.)