Difference Between Uniform and Non-uniform Motion with Examples

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As per the laws of physics, a body whether living or non-living can either be at rest or in motion. A body is said to be at rest if it does not change its position with respect to time. On the other hand, a body is said to be in motion if it changes its position with respect to time.

There is no way we can bifurcate rest into different types. However, we can bifurcate motion into its two most fundamental types. These are uniform and non-uniform motions. Well, I am not denying that there are some other types of motions too.

However, just because of the demand of the topic, today, we are only interested in uniform and non-uniform motion. The primary difference between uniform and non-uniform motion is that the former covers an equal distance in an equal interval of time. And, the latter covers an unequal distance in an equal interval of time.

In this exclusive article, we will talk about so many uniform and non-uniform motion differences. Not to mention, we will also talk about some of their similarities too. But, before going into deep discussion, let me give you a brief review of the two in a tabular form. Let’s dive right in…!!!

 

Difference Between Uniform and Non-uniform Motion

 Uniform MotionNon-uniform Motion
1.A body covers an equal distance in an equal interval of time during uniform motion.A body covers an unequal distance in equal interval of time during non-uniform motion
2.The actual speed of a body is always equal to its average speed.The actual speed of a body is always different from its average speed.
3.In uniform motion, a body moves along a straight line with a constant speed.In non-uniform motion, a body moves along a straight line with a variable speed.
4.Uniform motion shows zero acceleration.Non-uniform motion shows non-zero acceleration.
5.In uniform motion, the distance-time graph is always a straight line.In non-uniform motion, the distance-time graph is always a curve line.
6.Uniform motion examples include earth revolving around the sun.Non-uniform motion examples include an asteroid roaming in space with a variable speed.
From the above difference between uniform and non-uniform motion in tabular form, you got the exact overview of these two. However, in order to get to know them, let us try to understand both of them in a detailed format. Keep reading!

 

What is Uniform Motion?

By definition, uniform motion is a type of mechanical motion during which a body covers an equal distance in an equal interval of time. For a body to show uniform motion, its acceleration has to be equal to zero. That’s why its velocity remains unchanged throughout the time period of that motion.

uniform-motion-distance-time-graph
A distance-time graph for uniform motion showing a straight line

Additionally, just because the velocity remains unchanged, the actual speed of a body is always equal to its average speed. On the other hand, if we talk about the graph of a uniform motion, its distance versus time graph is always a straight line.

Examples of Uniform Motion

There can be so many examples of uniform motion. Some of them are listed below:

  • Moon revolving around Earth
  • A car moving along a straight line at a constant speed
  • Air cooler running at a constant speed
  • Earth revolving around the Sun
  • A train running on a track at a constant speed
  • Earth revolving on its axis, etc.

 

What is Non-uniform Motion?

By definition, non-uniform motion is a type of mechanical motion during which a body covers an unequal distance in an equal interval of time. For a body to show a non-uniform motion, its acceleration has to be non-zero. That’s why its velocity is changing throughout the time period of that motion.

non-uniform-motion-distance-time-graph
A distance-time graph for non-uniform motion showing a curve line

Additionally, just because of its changing velocity, the actual speed of a body is never equal to its average speed. On the other hand, if we talk about the graph of a non-uniform motion, its distance versus time graph is always a curve line.

Examples of Non-uniform Motion

There can be so many examples of non-uniform motion. Some of them are listed below:

  • A car in traffic
  • Walking in a crowded place
  • Dragging an object through a rough surface
  • A car running a hilly area
  • An asteroid roaming in space with variable speed
  • A stone is thrown into a river
  • Batsmen hitting a ball, etc.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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