Forces and Motion

On time

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

Restrict time to time of day

We'd suggest that there's much to be gained from not using the word time in a cover-all way.

There are times when you'd like to refer to the period of time, during which, say, a force is applied, a journey takes place, or a process happens. This is to report something that can be recorded and measured. We suggest using the word duration for an elapsed period of time.

There are times when you'd like to accumulate a quantity over some short interval of time – to predict what might come to pass. We suggest using the word interval for this (typically short) period of time.

We'd suggest leaving the use of time to telling the time of day – that is, an instant.

Teacher Tip: Use duration for periods of time that are measured, or which are to be measured.

Teacher Tip: Use interval for periods of time to be used in computations.

Teacher Tip: Use time for recording the time of day, or clock reading – what the time is now (and not for how long we've been recording this process).

appears in the relation F=ma a=dv/dt a=-(w^2)x
is used in analyses relating to Terminal Velocity
can be represented by Motion Graphs
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