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Motion is a universal attribute of all objects. Our current understanding estimates that everything in this universe is constantly moving. Contrary to our common belief based on our existence on earth, rest is simply a perception in a given frame of reference.

Motion is a state, which indicates change of position. Surprisingly, everything in this world is constantly moving and nothing is stationary. The apparent state of rest, as we shall learn, is a notional experience confined to a particular system of reference. A building, for example, is at rest in Earth’s reference, but it is a moving body for other moving systems like train, motor, airplane, moon, sun etc.

Motion of an airplane

The position of plane with respect to the earth keeps changing with time.

Motion of a body refers to the change in its position with respect to time in a given frame of reference.

A frame of reference is a mechanism to describe space from the perspective of an observer. In other words, it is a system of measurement for locating positions of the bodies in space with respect to an observer (reference). Since, frame of reference is a system of measurement of positions in space as measured by the observer, frame of reference is said to be attached to the observer. For this reason, terms “frame of reference” and “observer” are interchangeably used to describe motion.

In our daily life, we recognize motion of an object with respect to ourselves and other stationary objects. If the object maintains its position with respect to the stationary objects, we say that the object is at rest; else the object is moving with respect to the stationary objects. Here, we conceive all objects moving with earth without changing their positions on earth surface as stationary objects in the earth’s frame of reference. Evidently, all bodies not changing position with respect to a specific observer is stationary in the frame of reference attached with the observer.

We require an observer to identify motion

Motion has no meaning without a reference system.

An object or a body under motion, as a matter of fact, is incapable of identifying its own motion. It would be surprising for some to know that we live on this earth in a so called stationary state without ever being aware that we are moving around sun at a very high speed - at a speed faster than the fastest airplane that the man kind has developed. The earth is moving around sun at a speed of about 30 km/s (≈ 30000 m/s ≈ 100000 km/hr) – a speed about 1000 times greater than the motoring speed and 100 times greater than the aircraft’s speed.

Likewise, when we travel on aircraft, we are hardly aware of the speed of the aircraft. The state of fellow passengers and parts of the aircraft are all moving at the same speed, giving the impression that passengers are simply sitting in a stationary cabin. The turbulence that the passengers experience occasionally is a consequence of external force and is not indicative of the motion of the aircraft.

It is the external objects and entities which indicate that aircraft is actually moving. It is the passing clouds and changing landscape below, which make us think that aircraft is actually moving. The very fact that we land at geographically distant location at the end of travel in a short time, confirms that aircraft was actually cruising at a very high speed.

Questions & Answers

what are scalars
Abdhool Reply
show that 1w= 10^7ergs^-1
Lawrence Reply
what's lamin's theorems and it's mathematics representative
Yusuf Reply
if the wavelength is double,what is the frequency of the wave
Ekanem Reply
What are the system of units
Jonah Reply
A stone propelled from a catapult with a speed of 50ms-1 attains a height of 100m. Calculate the time of flight, calculate the angle of projection, calculate the range attained
Samson Reply
58asagravitasnal firce
water boil at 100 and why
isaac Reply
what is upper limit of speed
Riya Reply
what temperature is 0 k
0k is the lower limit of the themordynamic scale which is equalt to -273 In celcius scale
How MKS system is the subset of SI system?
Clash Reply
which colour has the shortest wavelength in the white light spectrum
Mustapha Reply
how do we add
Jennifer Reply
if x=a-b, a=5.8cm b=3.22 cm find percentage error in x
Abhyanshu Reply
x=5.8-3.22 x=2.58
what is the definition of resolution of forces
Atinuke Reply
what is energy?
James Reply
Ability of doing work is called energy energy neither be create nor destryoed but change in one form to an other form
highlights of atomic physics
can anyone tell who founded equations of motion !?
Ztechy Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Physics for k-12. OpenStax CNX. Sep 07, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10322/1.175
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