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How Do We Perceive Motion?

In: Science

Submitted By lexxie2012
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Chapter 3: How do we perceive motion?
King George High School
Author: Alexis Rixner
Teacher: Mr.Priser
Date: September 21, 2011

In our daily lives, we have come to recognize motion in regards to ourselves and other stationary objects around ourselves. We concluded that of an object that maintains it position with respect to the immobile objects, is at rest. We also determined that all objects moving, along with the earth without changing its positions on earth surface is considered stationary objects in the earth’s frame of reference. So theoretically, “all bodies not changing position with respect to a specific observer is stationary in the frame of reference attached with the observer.”(Singhil) Hermann von Helmholtz stated, “A moving body whose motion was not retarded by any resisting force would continue to move to all eternity.”(Brainy) Helmholtz means that every single thing on earth is always constantly moving. What is motion; it is a state which indicates change of position. Motion of a body refers to the time given in a frame of reference. A frame of a reference is a method to describe space from the perception of an observer. In other words, it is a system of measurement for locating positions of the bodies in space with reverence to a viewer. These terms “reference” and “observer” are used to explain and describe motion. A frame of reference is a mathematical construct that specifies the location of a point of an object in space. The frame of reference is a coordinate system. The most common coordinate system is the Cartesian system, it comprises of three perpendicular axes. Observation of motion is considered a human endeavor, but the motion of an object would be considered both human and non-human things, such as clouds, rivers, moon, and mountains. There are also three different types of motions real time motion, two dimensional motions, and linear motion. Real time motion is the most complex motion because the bodies are subjected to many forces. This motion doesn’t happen in a straight line or plane, such as a bird flying in three dimensions. An example for two dimensional motion is “a ball thrown at an angle with horizon is described in terms of two coordinates x and y.”(Singhil) One dimensional motion is described using one of the three coordinates, while the other two remain constant during the motion. How do we distinguish motion? An object or body in motion cannot perceive its own motion. For example, we live on earth in an immobile state where we don’t realize that the earth is moving a high speed around the sun. The earth is moving at about 30 km/s, a speed that is faster than the fastest airplane that mankind has developed. As observers, we manly ignore or are unaware of the speed of an aircraft or automobile that we would be traveling in. To an observer the passengers and parts of the aircraft are all moving at the same speed, which gives the impression that the passengers are sitting in a stationary state. Remarkably, the motion of a body and its measurement is found to be influenced by the state of motion of the observer itself and hence by the state of motion of the attached frame of reference. For example, “Two observers in the same state of motion, such as two persons standing on the platform, perceive the motion of a passing train in exactly same manner. On the other hand, the passenger in a speeding train finds that the other train crossing it on the parallel track in opposite direction has the combined speed of the two trains.”(Singhil) Thus, explaining the interaction between the motions of both the object and observer. In conclusion, we have to perceive the study of motion through a new scientific approach. What we have learned is that the scientific meaning of motion has many interpretations from the point of view of earth or an observer. Robert Collier stated that “all motion is cyclic. It circulates to the limits of its possibilities and then returns to its starting point.”( Brainy) Motion is happening all around us all we have to do is open our eyes to view it all.

"Hermann von Helmholtz." Xplore Inc, 2011. 26 September. 2011.

Robert Collier." Xplore Inc, 2011. 26 September. 2011.

Singhil, Sunil K. "Motion." Conations - Sharing Knowledge and Building Communities. Creative Commons Attributions License, 26 Jan. 2010. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.

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