So you have learnt your 5 equations of motions, but do you really understand them? Most of you are probably nodding your heads… and those of you who aren’t should be working towards making sure you can be nodding! (please note that sometimes these are called the SUVAT or DUVAT equations as well)
You might be surprised, then, to discover that what you have learnt is only the very basics of the “Kinematics Equations”. There is much more for you to learn as you go through physics and Mathematical Methods. Let’s review some of the basics.
First and most important these equations are the “Constant (or uniform) Acceleration Equations”. This means that they only work if the acceleration of the body is constant. This means that you cannot use them if the object is increasing or decreasing it’s acceleration, i.e. it has non-zero jerk.
Secondly, you have to be careful to use the scalar version when dealing with scalars, and vector version when working with vectors – but remember that adding and subtracting vectors has special rules.