A graph plotted with time along the X-axis and the velocity along the Y-axis is called the velocity-time graph. The nature of the graph depends on the nature of the motion of the particle. The velocity-time graph for different cases is explained below.

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Velocity time graph for uniform motionWhat does the area under a velocity graph represent?Velocity-Time graph for uniformly accelerated motion

Velocity time graph for uniform motion

In uniform motion, the velocity of the particle remains the same. For a particle moving with uniform velocity, the graph is a straight line (AB) parallel to the time axis (X-axis) as shown in figure 1.

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Figure 8

For example, consider a car starting from point A. Let it be moving along a straight line with uniform acceleration a during the time interval t1 to t2 and then start moving with uniform velocity during the interval of time t2 to t3. Thereafter, let the velocity of the car decrease uniformly and the car come to a stop at the instant t4. The motion of the car can be represented by the v-t graph, as shown in figure 7. Then the area under the velocity-time graph gives the total displacement of the car.

You can also go through my previous article which discussed the meaning and shape of the position-time graph for non-uniform motion.

Uses of the velocity-time graph

To find the velocity of the particle at any instant.To find the displacement of the particle in a given interval of time. The displacement is numerically equal to the area enclosed by the velocity-time graph, the time axis and the ordinates at the beginning and at the end of the interval.

I hope the information in this article helps you to get a brief idea regarding the concept and different shapes of velocity-time graphs. Also, this article explored the methods to find the displacement and acceleration from the v-t graph.

Also, share your feedback about this article as well as your thoughts on any other information which might be useful to the topic of velocity-time graphs.

Also learn, How to draw a velocity-time graph from a position-time graph?

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Understand the meaning of different shapes of a position-time graph.How do you express instantaneous velocity of a body in non-uniform motion along a straight line?
Obtain the general equations of motion.Problems and examples related to the three equations of motion.

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Write the difference between distance and displacement in tabular form. Explain the different rules for significant figures.