Beyond velocity and acceleration: jerk, snap and higher derivatives

Publisher:
European Physical Society
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
European Journal of Physics, 2016, 37 (6), pp. 1 - 11
Issue Date:
2016-10-13
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The higher derivatives of motion are rarely discussed in the teaching of classical mechanics of rigid bodies; nevertheless, we experience the effect not only of acceleration, but also of jerk and snap. In this paper we will discuss the third and higher order derivatives of displacement with respect to time, using the trampolines and theme park roller coasters to illustrate this concept. We will also discuss the effects on the human body of different types of acceleration, jerk, snap and higher derivatives, and how they can be used in physics education to further enhance the learning and thus the understanding of classical mechanics concepts.
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