Course: Calculus I
Topic: Derivatives
Subtopic: Motion and the Derivative


Calculus is the study of change and motion. Derivatives are one way of quantifying motion. In today's lesson we use the derivative to study motion, in particular position, velocity, and acceleration. These are important applications of the first and second derivative especially to physics and biology majors.


By the end of this topic you should know and be prepared to be tested on:


Terms you should be able to define: average velocity, instantaneous velocity, position function, velocity, acceleration, speed, height function

Text Notes

Some texts include other applications of derivative at this point such as business and economics. Since this is a STEM based Calculus course we will primarily focus on the engineering applications.

Mini-Lectures and Examples

STUDY: Derivatives and Motion

Supplemental Resources (optional)

Video: Rectilinear Motion, Selwyn Hollis's Video Calculus

Geogebra Exploration: Average and Instantateous Rate of Change, Mark Renault

rev. 2020-10-10