Difference between Uniform Motion and Non-Uniform Motion

What are the major differences between Uniform Motion and Non-Uniform Motion?

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Motion is a fundamental concept in physics, and we often talk about the difference between uniform and non-uniform motion.

The main difference is in uniform motion, an object moves at a constant speed in a straight line whereas in non-uniform motion, an object travels at different speeds or makes stops along the way.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Uniform Motion and Non-Uniform Motion:

  • Uniform Motion: Uniform motion is when a body moves along a straight line with constant speed. A body that is undergoing uniform motion will move in a straight line at a constant velocity.
  • Non-Uniform Motion: Non-uniform motion is when a body changes its speed or direction during its movement. If the object moves in curved lines, then it is undergoing non-uniform motion.

Now, let’s move to Uniform Motion vs Non-Uniform Motion:

Major differences between Uniform Motion and Non-Uniform Motion

Uniform Motion Non-Uniform Motion
The object does not change direction or speed over time, so it is moving uniformly. The object changes its speed or direction during its movement.
In uniform motion, both velocity and acceleration are constant. Non-uniform motion both velocity and acceleration change with time.
The average speed of a body undergoing uniform motion is equal to zero. The bodies undergoing non-uniform motions average speed varies with time because it changes over time (i.e., increasing or decreasing).
The distance traveled by the object in uniform motion is always equal to its displacement. It can be more than or less than the displacement depending on whether it is increasing or decreasing its velocity respectively.
The distance traveled in uniform motion over a certain amount of time is predictable. The distance traveled in non-uniform motion over the same amount of time isn’t always predictable.

That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Uniform Motion and Non-Uniform Motion”.

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Final words

So we can conclude that uniform motion occurs when an object moves at a constant speed in a straight line while non-uniform motion occurs when an object’s speed or direction changes over time.

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