# Calculus in Kinematics

### Basics of Calculus in Kinematics

• Calculus plays a vital role in kinematics for understanding the relationships between displacement, velocity, and acceleration.
• The process of differentiation helps to examine the rate of change at a specific point in a motion, and is used to shift from displacement to velocity, and velocity to acceleration.
• Integration, the opposite of differentiation, helps to accumulate changes over a time interval, and is used to shift from acceleration to velocity, and velocity to displacement.

### Differentiation Process

• Differentiation is the process of finding the derivative of a function. It represents the rate at which quantities change.
• The derivative of a displacement-time graph gives a velocity-time graph. The slope at any point on the original graph represents the velocity at that time.
• Arbitrarily, the derivative of a velocity-time graph gives an acceleration-time graph. The slope at a certain point on the original graph signifies the acceleration at that point.
• The terms ‘gradient’ and ‘slope’ in this context essentially mean the same thing - the rate of change of the function at a certain point.

### Integration Process

• Integration is the reverse operation to differentiation and is indicated by the ∫ symbol.
• In the context of kinematics, integration is used to find the area under a graph which can represent displacement, given a velocity-time graph, or a change in velocity given an acceleration-time graph.
• The integral of an acceleration-time graph gives a velocity-time graph. The total area under the graph between two times gives the change in velocity between those times.
• The integral of a velocity-time graph gives a displacement-time graph. Similarly, the total area under the graph between two time points provides the change in displacement between those times.
• Understanding how to switch between different types of kinematics graphs using integration and differentiation is a crucial skill in mechanics.

### Calculus Terminology in Kinematics

• The term ‘constant acceleration’ refers to a situation where the acceleration does not change with time. In such scenarios, kinematic equations can be used to solve problems, and no calculus is required.
• The term ‘non-uniform acceleration’ refers to cases where the acceleration does change with time. Such motions require calculus (either differentiation or integration) to solve problems.
• A ‘function’ in this context is a mathematical statement, usually in the form of an equation, which relates one quantity (e.g., displacement) to another (e.g., time).
• The ‘rate of change’ is a key term in kinematics and calculus. In essence, it refers to how one quantity changes in relation to another over time.