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OR:

In
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which re ...
, motion is the
phenomenon A phenomenon ( : phenomena) is an observable event. The term came into its modern philosophical usage through Immanuel Kant, who contrasted it with the noumenon, which ''cannot'' be directly observed. Kant was heavily influenced by Gottfrie ...
in which an object changes its
position Position often refers to: * Position (geometry), the spatial location (rather than orientation) of an entity * Position, a job or occupation Position may also refer to: Games and recreation * Position (poker), location relative to the dealer ...
with respect to time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of
displacement Displacement may refer to: Physical sciences Mathematics and Physics * Displacement (geometry), is the difference between the final and initial position of a point trajectory (for instance, the center of mass of a moving object). The actual path ...
,
distance Distance is a numerical or occasionally qualitative measurement of how far apart objects or points are. In physics or everyday usage, distance may refer to a physical length or an estimation based on other criteria (e.g. "two counties over"). ...
,
velocity Velocity is the directional speed of an object in motion as an indication of its rate of change in position as observed from a particular frame of reference and as measured by a particular standard of time (e.g. northbound). Velocity ...
,
acceleration In mechanics, acceleration is the rate of change of the velocity of an object with respect to time. Accelerations are vector quantities (in that they have magnitude and direction). The orientation of an object's acceleration is given by ...
,
speed In everyday use and in kinematics, the speed (commonly referred to as ''v'') of an object is the magnitude of the change of its position over time or the magnitude of the change of its position per unit of time; it is thus a scalar quanti ...
and
frame of reference In physics and astronomy, a frame of reference (or reference frame) is an abstract coordinate system whose origin, orientation, and scale are specified by a set of reference points― geometric points whose position is identified both mathem ...
to an observer and measuring the change in position of the body relative to that frame with change in time. The branch of physics describing the motion of objects without reference to its cause is called
kinematics Kinematics is a subfield of physics, developed in classical mechanics, that describes the motion of points, bodies (objects), and systems of bodies (groups of objects) without considering the forces that cause them to move. Kinematics, as a fi ...
, while the branch studying forces and their effect on motion is called dynamics. If an object is not changing relative to a given frame of reference, the object is said to be ''at rest'', ''motionless'', ''immobile'', '' stationary'', or to have a constant or
time-invariant In control theory, a time-invariant (TIV) system has a time-dependent system function that is not a direct function of time. Such systems are regarded as a class of systems in the field of system analysis. The time-dependent system function is a ...
position with reference to its surroundings. Modern physics holds that, as there is no absolute frame of reference, Newton's concept of '' absolute motion'' cannot be determined. As such, everything in the universe can be considered to be in motion. Motion applies to various physical systems: objects, bodies, matter particles, matter fields,
radiation In physics, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium. This includes: * ''electromagnetic radiation'', such as radio waves, microwaves, infrared, vi ...
curvature In mathematics, curvature is any of several strongly related concepts in geometry. Intuitively, the curvature is the amount by which a curve deviates from being a straight line, or a surface deviates from being a plane. For curves, the canon ...
, and
space-time In physics, spacetime is a mathematical model that combines the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional manifold. Spacetime diagrams can be used to visualize relativistic effects, such as why differ ...
. One can also speak on the motion of images, shapes, and boundaries. In general, the term motion signifies a continuous change in the positions or configuration of a physical system in space. For example, one can talk about the motion of a wave or the motion of a
quantum In physics, a quantum (plural quanta) is the minimum amount of any physical entity (physical property) involved in an interaction. The fundamental notion that a physical property can be "quantized" is referred to as "the hypothesis of quantizati ...
particle, where the configuration consists of probabilities of the wave or particle occupying specific positions.

# Laws of motion

In physics, the motion of bodies is described through two related sets of
laws Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
of mechanics.
Classical mechanics Classical mechanics is a physical theory describing the motion of macroscopic objects, from projectiles to parts of machinery, and astronomical objects, such as spacecraft, planets, stars, and galaxies. For objects governed by classical m ...
for super atomic (larger than an atom) objects (such as
car A car or automobile is a motor vehicle with wheels. Most definitions of ''cars'' say that they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport people instead of goods. The year 1886 is regarded as ...
s,
projectile A projectile is an object that is propelled by the application of an external force and then moves freely under the influence of gravity and air resistance. Although any objects in motion through space are projectiles, they are commonly found in ...
s,
planet A planet is a large, rounded astronomical body that is neither a star nor its remnant. The best available theory of planet formation is the nebular hypothesis, which posits that an interstellar cloud collapses out of a nebula to create a yo ...
s,
cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Locations * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a religious recluse lives, alternatively the small precursor of a monastery w ...
, and
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex brain. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, culture, ...
s) and
quantum mechanic Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including quantum chemistry, qua ...
s for
atom Every atom is composed of a nucleus and one or more electrons bound to the nucleus. The nucleus is made of one or more protons and a number of neutrons. Only the most common variety of hydrogen has no neutrons. Every solid, liquid, gas, ...
ic and sub-atomic objects (such as
helium Helium (from el, ἥλιος, helios, lit=sun) is a chemical element with the symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas and the first in the noble gas group in the periodic table ...
,
protons A proton is a stable subatomic particle, symbol , H+, or 1H+ with a positive electric charge of +1 ''e'' elementary charge. Its mass is slightly less than that of a neutron and 1,836 times the mass of an electron (the proton–electron mass ...
, and
electrons The electron ( or ) is a subatomic particle with a negative one elementary electric charge. Electrons belong to the first generation of the lepton particle family, and are generally thought to be elementary particles because they have no ...
). Historically, Newton and Euler formulated three laws of classical mechanics:

## Classical mechanics

Classical mechanics is used for describing the motion of
macroscopic The macroscopic scale is the length scale on which objects or phenomena are large enough to be visible with the naked eye, without magnifying optical instruments. It is the opposite of microscopic. Overview When applied to physical phenomena a ...
objects moving at speeds significantly slower than the speed of light, from projectiles to parts of
machinery A machine is a physical system using power to apply forces and control movement to perform an action. The term is commonly applied to artificial devices, such as those employing engines or motors, but also to natural biological macromolecule ...
, as well as
astronomical objects An astronomical object, celestial object, stellar object or heavenly body is a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that exists in the observable universe. In astronomy, the terms ''object'' and ''body'' are often us ...
, such as
spacecraft A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. A type of artificial satellite, spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, Earth observation, meteorology, navigation, space colonization, ...
,
planets A planet is a large, rounded astronomical body that is neither a star nor its remnant. The best available theory of planet formation is the nebular hypothesis, which posits that an interstellar cloud collapses out of a nebula to create a yo ...
,
star A star is an astronomical object comprising a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many other stars are visible to the naked eye at night, but their immense distances from Earth ma ...
s, and
galaxies A galaxy is a system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, dark matter, bound together by gravity. The word is derived from the Greek ' (), literally 'milky', a reference to the Milky Way galaxy that contains the Solar System ...
. It produces very accurate results within these domains and is one of the oldest and largest scientific descriptions in
science Science is a systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earliest archeological evidence ...
,
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more speciali ...
, and technology. Classical mechanics is fundamentally based on
Newton's laws of motion Newton's laws of motion are three basic Scientific law, laws of classical mechanics that describe the relationship between the motion of an object and the forces acting on it. These laws can be paraphrased as follows: # A body remains at re ...
. These laws describe the relationship between the forces acting on a body and the motion of that body. They were first compiled by
Sir Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosopher"), widely recognised as one of the gre ...
in his work ''
Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ( English: ''Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy'') often referred to as simply the (), is a book by Isaac Newton that expounds Newton's laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation. The ''Principia'' is written in Latin and ...
'', which was first published on July 5, 1687. Newton's three laws are: # A
body Body may refer to: In science * Physical body, an object in physics that represents a large amount, has mass or takes up space * Body (biology), the physical material of an organism * Body plan, the physical features shared by a group of animal ...
at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force. (This is known as the law of
inertia Inertia is the idea that an object will continue its current motion until some force causes its speed or direction to change. The term is properly understood as shorthand for "the principle of inertia" as described by Newton in his first law ...
.) # Force ($\vec$) is equal to the change in momentum per change in time ($\frac$). For a constant mass, force equals mass times acceleration ($\vec = m\vec$ ). # For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. (In other words, whenever one body exerts a force $\vec$ onto a second body, (in some cases, which is standing still) the second body exerts the force $-\vec$ back onto the first body. $\vec$ and $-\vec$ are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. So, the body which exerts $\vec$ will be pushed backward.) Newton's three laws of motion were the first to accurately provide a mathematical model for understanding
orbit In celestial mechanics, an orbit is the curved trajectory of an object such as the trajectory of a planet around a star, or of a natural satellite around a planet, or of an artificial satellite around an object or position in space such as a ...
ing bodies in
outer space Outer space, commonly shortened to space, is the expanse that exists beyond Earth and its atmosphere and between celestial bodies. Outer space is not completely empty—it is a near-perfect vacuum containing a low density of particles, pred ...
. This explanation unified the motion of celestial bodies and the motion of objects on Earth.

## Relativistic mechanics

Modern kinematics developed with study of
electromagnetism In physics, electromagnetism is an interaction that occurs between particles with electric charge. It is the second-strongest of the four fundamental interactions, after the strong force, and it is the dominant force in the interactions of ...
and refers all velocities $v$ to their ratio to
speed of light The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted , is a universal physical constant that is important in many areas of physics. The speed of light is exactly equal to ). According to the special theory of relativity, is the upper limit ...
$c$. Velocity is then interpreted as
rapidity In relativity, rapidity is commonly used as a measure for relativistic velocity. Mathematically, rapidity can be defined as the hyperbolic angle that differentiates two frames of reference in relative motion, each frame being associated with di ...
, the
hyperbolic angle In geometry, hyperbolic angle is a real number determined by the area of the corresponding hyperbolic sector of ''xy'' = 1 in Quadrant I of the Cartesian plane. The hyperbolic angle parametrises the unit hyperbola, which has hyperbolic function ...
$\varphi$ for which the hyperbolic tangent function $\tanh \varphi = v \div c$.
Acceleration In mechanics, acceleration is the rate of change of the velocity of an object with respect to time. Accelerations are vector quantities (in that they have magnitude and direction). The orientation of an object's acceleration is given by ...
, the change of velocity over time, then changes rapidity according to
Lorentz transformation In physics, the Lorentz transformations are a six-parameter family of linear transformations from a coordinate frame in spacetime to another frame that moves at a constant velocity relative to the former. The respective inverse transformation i ...
s. This part of mechanics is
special relativity In physics, the special theory of relativity, or special relativity for short, is a scientific theory regarding the relationship between space and time. In Albert Einstein's original treatment, the theory is based on two postulates: # The law ...
. Efforts to incorporate
gravity In physics, gravity () is a fundamental interaction which causes mutual attraction between all things with mass or energy. Gravity is, by far, the weakest of the four fundamental interactions, approximately 1038 times weaker than the str ...
into relativistic mechanics were made by W. K. Clifford and
Albert Einstein Albert Einstein ( ; ; 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time. Einstein is best known for developing the theory ...
. The development used
differential geometry Differential geometry is a mathematical discipline that studies the geometry of smooth shapes and smooth spaces, otherwise known as smooth manifolds. It uses the techniques of differential calculus, integral calculus, linear algebra and mul ...
to describe a curved universe with gravity; the study is called
general relativity General relativity, also known as the general theory of relativity and Einstein's theory of gravity, is the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915 and is the current description of gravitation in modern physic ...
.

## Quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including quantum chemistry, ...
is a set of principles describing physical reality at the atomic level of matter (
molecule A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by attractive forces known as chemical bonds; depending on context, the term may or may not include ions which satisfy this criterion. In quantum physics, organic chemistry, and bioch ...
s and
atom Every atom is composed of a nucleus and one or more electrons bound to the nucleus. The nucleus is made of one or more protons and a number of neutrons. Only the most common variety of hydrogen has no neutrons. Every solid, liquid, gas, ...
s) and the
subatomic particle In physical sciences, a subatomic particle is a particle that composes an atom. According to the Standard Model of particle physics, a subatomic particle can be either a composite particle, which is composed of other particles (for example, a prot ...
s (
electron The electron ( or ) is a subatomic particle with a negative one elementary electric charge. Electrons belong to the first generation of the lepton particle family, and are generally thought to be elementary particles because they have no ...
s,
proton A proton is a stable subatomic particle, symbol , H+, or 1H+ with a positive electric charge of +1 ''e'' elementary charge. Its mass is slightly less than that of a neutron and 1,836 times the mass of an electron (the proton–electron mas ...
s,
neutron The neutron is a subatomic particle, symbol or , which has a neutral (not positive or negative) charge, and a mass slightly greater than that of a proton. Protons and neutrons constitute the nuclei of atoms. Since protons and neutrons beha ...
s, and even smaller
elementary particle In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include electrons, the fundamental fermions (quarks, leptons, antiq ...
s such as
quark A quark () is a type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. All commonly o ...
s). These descriptions include the simultaneous wave-like and particle-like behavior of both
matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which are made up of interacting subatomic parti ...
and
radiation In physics, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium. This includes: * ''electromagnetic radiation'', such as radio waves, microwaves, infrared, vi ...
energy as described in the
wave–particle duality Wave–particle duality is the concept in quantum mechanics that every particle or quantum entity may be described as either a particle or a wave. It expresses the inability of the classical concepts "particle" or "wave" to fully describe the ...
. In classical mechanics, accurate
measurement Measurement is the quantification of attributes of an object or event, which can be used to compare with other objects or events. In other words, measurement is a process of determining how large or small a physical quantity is as compared ...
s and
prediction A prediction (Latin ''præ-'', "before," and ''dicere'', "to say"), or forecast, is a statement about a future event or data. They are often, but not always, based upon experience or knowledge. There is no universal agreement about the exac ...
s of the state of objects can be calculated, such as
location In geography, location or place are used to denote a region (point, line, or area) on Earth's surface or elsewhere. The term ''location'' generally implies a higher degree of certainty than ''place'', the latter often indicating an entity with an ...
and
velocity Velocity is the directional speed of an object in motion as an indication of its rate of change in position as observed from a particular frame of reference and as measured by a particular standard of time (e.g. northbound). Velocity ...
. In quantum mechanics, due to the
Heisenberg uncertainty principle In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle (also known as Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the accuracy with which the values for certain pairs of physic ...
, the complete state of a subatomic particle, such as its location and velocity, cannot be simultaneously determined. In addition to describing the motion of atomic level phenomena, quantum mechanics is useful in understanding some large-scale phenomena such as
superfluidity Superfluidity is the characteristic property of a fluid with zero viscosity which therefore flows without any loss of kinetic energy. When stirred, a superfluid forms vortices that continue to rotate indefinitely. Superfluidity occurs in two i ...
,
superconductivity Superconductivity is a set of physical properties observed in certain materials where electrical resistance vanishes and magnetic flux fields are expelled from the material. Any material exhibiting these properties is a superconductor. Unlike ...
, and
biological system A biological system is a complex network which connects several biologically relevant entities. Biological organization spans several scales and are determined based different structures depending on what the system is. Examples of biological sys ...
s, including the function of smell receptors and the structures of protein.

# Orders of magnitude

Humans, like all known things in the universe, are in constant motion; however, aside from obvious movements of the various external
body Body may refer to: In science * Physical body, an object in physics that represents a large amount, has mass or takes up space * Body (biology), the physical material of an organism * Body plan, the physical features shared by a group of animal ...
parts and locomotion, humans are in motion in a variety of ways which are more difficult to perceive. Many of these "imperceptible motions" are only perceivable with the help of special tools and careful observation. The larger scales of imperceptible motions are difficult for humans to perceive for two reasons:
Newton's laws of motion Newton's laws of motion are three basic Scientific law, laws of classical mechanics that describe the relationship between the motion of an object and the forces acting on it. These laws can be paraphrased as follows: # A body remains at re ...
(particularly the third) which prevents the feeling of motion on a mass to which the observer is connected, and the lack of an obvious
frame of reference In physics and astronomy, a frame of reference (or reference frame) is an abstract coordinate system whose origin, orientation, and scale are specified by a set of reference points― geometric points whose position is identified both mathem ...
which would allow individuals to easily see that they are moving. The smaller scales of these motions are too small to be detected conventionally with human
sense A sense is a biological system used by an organism for sensation, the process of gathering information about the world through the detection of stimuli. (For example, in the human body, the brain which is part of the central nervous system r ...
s.

## Universe

Spacetime In physics, spacetime is a mathematical model that combines the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional manifold. Spacetime diagrams can be used to visualize relativistic effects, such as why differ ...
(the fabric of the universe) is expanding, meaning everything in the
universe The universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological description of the development of the universe. A ...
is stretching, like a
rubber band A rubber band (also known as an elastic band, gum band or lacky band) is a loop of rubber, usually ring or oval shaped, and commonly used to hold multiple objects together. The rubber band was patented in England on March 17, 1845 by Stephen ...
. This motion is the most obscure as it is not physical motion, but rather a change in the very nature of the universe. The primary source of verification of this expansion was provided by
Edwin Hubble Edwin Powell Hubble (November 20, 1889 – September 28, 1953) was an American astronomer. He played a crucial role in establishing the fields of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology. Hubble proved that many objects previousl ...
who demonstrated that all galaxies and distant astronomical objects were moving away from Earth, known as
Hubble's law Hubble's law, also known as the Hubble–Lemaître law, is the observation in physical cosmology that galaxies are moving away from Earth at speeds proportional to their distance. In other words, the farther they are, the faster they are moving a ...
, predicted by a universal expansion.

## Galaxy

The
Milky Way Galaxy The Milky Way is the galaxy that includes our Solar System, with the name describing the galaxy's appearance from Earth: a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye ...
is moving through
space Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction. In classical physics, physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually con ...
and many astronomers believe the velocity of this motion to be approximately relative to the observed locations of other nearby galaxies. Another reference frame is provided by the
Cosmic microwave background In Big Bang cosmology the cosmic microwave background (CMB, CMBR) is electromagnetic radiation that is a remnant from an early stage of the universe, also known as "relic radiation". The CMB is faint cosmic background radiation filling all space ...
. This frame of reference indicates that the Milky Way is moving at around .

## Sun and Solar System

The Milky Way is
rotating Rotation, or spin, is the circular movement of an object around a '' central axis''. A two-dimensional rotating object has only one possible central axis and can rotate in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. A three-dimensional ...
around its
dense Density (volumetric mass density or specific mass) is the substance's mass per unit of volume. The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter rho), although the Latin letter ''D'' can also be used. Mathematicall ...
Galactic Center The Galactic Center or Galactic Centre is the rotational center, the barycenter, of the Milky Way galaxy. Its central massive object is a supermassive black hole of about 4 million solar masses, which is called Sagittarius A*, a compact r ...
, thus the
Sun The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect ball of hot plasma, heated to incandescence by nuclear fusion reactions in its core. The Sun radiates this energy mainly as light, ultraviolet, and infrared radi ...
is moving in a circle within the
galaxy A galaxy is a system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, dark matter, bound together by gravity. The word is derived from the Greek ' (), literally 'milky', a reference to the Milky Way galaxy that contains the Solar System. ...
's
gravity In physics, gravity () is a fundamental interaction which causes mutual attraction between all things with mass or energy. Gravity is, by far, the weakest of the four fundamental interactions, approximately 1038 times weaker than the str ...
. Away from the central bulge, or outer rim, the typical stellar
velocity Velocity is the directional speed of an object in motion as an indication of its rate of change in position as observed from a particular frame of reference and as measured by a particular standard of time (e.g. northbound). Velocity ...
is between . All planets and their moons move with the Sun. Thus, the
Solar System The Solar System Capitalization of the name varies. The International Astronomical Union, the authoritative body regarding astronomical nomenclature, specifies capitalizing the names of all individual astronomical objects but uses mixed "Solar ...
is in motion.

## Earth

The Earth is
rotating Rotation, or spin, is the circular movement of an object around a '' central axis''. A two-dimensional rotating object has only one possible central axis and can rotate in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. A three-dimensional ...
or spinning around its
axis An axis (plural ''axes'') is an imaginary line around which an object rotates or is symmetrical. Axis may also refer to: Mathematics * Axis of rotation: see rotation around a fixed axis *Axis (mathematics), a designator for a Cartesian-coordinate ...
. This is evidenced by
day A day is the time period of a full rotation of the Earth with respect to the Sun. On average, this is 24 hours, 1440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds. In everyday life, the word "day" often refers to a solar day, which is the length between two so ...
and
night Night (also described as night time, unconventionally spelled as "nite") is the period of ambient darkness from sunset to sunrise during each 24-hour day, when the Sun is below the horizon. The exact time when night begins and ends depends o ...
, at the equator the earth has an eastward velocity of .Ask an Astrophysicist
. NASA Goodard Space Flight Center.
The Earth is also
orbit In celestial mechanics, an orbit is the curved trajectory of an object such as the trajectory of a planet around a star, or of a natural satellite around a planet, or of an artificial satellite around an object or position in space such as a ...
ing around the
Sun The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect ball of hot plasma, heated to incandescence by nuclear fusion reactions in its core. The Sun radiates this energy mainly as light, ultraviolet, and infrared radi ...
in an
orbital revolution In celestial mechanics, an orbit is the curved trajectory of an object such as the trajectory of a planet around a star, or of a natural satellite around a planet, or of an artificial satellite around an object or position in space such as a p ...
. A complete orbit around the sun takes one
year A year or annus is the orbital period of a planetary body, for example, the Earth, moving in its orbit around the Sun. Due to the Earth's axial tilt, the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons, marked by change in weather, the hou ...
, or about 365 days; it averages a speed of about .

## Continents

The Theory of
Plate tectonic Plate tectonics (from the la, label= Late Latin, tectonicus, from the grc, τεκτονικός, lit=pertaining to building) is the generally accepted scientific theory that considers the Earth's lithosphere to comprise a number of large ...
s tells us that the
continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, these seven ...
s are drifting on
convection current Convection is single or multiphase fluid flow that occurs spontaneously due to the combined effects of material property heterogeneity and body forces on a fluid, most commonly density and gravity (see buoyancy). When the cause of the co ...
s within the mantle, causing them to move across the surface of the
planet A planet is a large, rounded astronomical body that is neither a star nor its remnant. The best available theory of planet formation is the nebular hypothesis, which posits that an interstellar cloud collapses out of a nebula to create a yo ...
at the slow speed of approximately per year. However, the velocities of plates range widely. The fastest-moving plates are the oceanic plates, with the
Cocos Plate The Cocos Plate is a young oceanic tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Central America, named for Cocos Island, which rides upon it. The Cocos Plate was created approximately 23 million years ago when the Farallon Plate ...
advancing at a rate of per year and the
Pacific Plate The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. At , it is the largest tectonic plate. The plate first came into existence 190 million years ago, at the triple junction between the Farallon, Phoenix, and Iza ...
moving per year. At the other extreme, the slowest-moving plate is the
Eurasian Plate The Eurasian Plate is a tectonic plate that includes most of the continent of Eurasia (a landmass consisting of the traditional continents of Europe and Asia), with the notable exceptions of the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian subcontinent and ...
, progressing at a typical rate of about per year.

## Internal body

The human
heart The heart is a muscular organ in most animals. This organ pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. The pumped blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the body, while carrying metabolic waste such as carbon dioxide to ...
is constantly contracting to move
blood Blood is a body fluid in the circulatory system of humans and other vertebrates that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells, and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. Blood in th ...
throughout the body. Through larger veins and arteries in the body, blood has been found to travel at approximately 0.33 m/s. Though considerable variation exists, and peak flows in the
venae cavae In anatomy, the venae cavae (; singular: vena cava ; ) are two large veins (great vessels) that return deoxygenated blood from the body into the heart. In humans they are the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava, and both empty into the ...
have been found between . additionally, the smooth muscles of hollow internal organs are moving. The most familiar would be the occurrence of
peristalsis Peristalsis ( , ) is a radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles that propagate in a wave down a tube, in an anterograde direction. Peristalsis is progression of coordinated contraction of involuntary circular muscles, which ...
which is where digested
food Food is any substance consumed by an organism for nutritional support. Food is usually of plant, animal, or fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ...
is forced throughout the
digestive tract The gastrointestinal tract (GI tract, digestive tract, alimentary canal) is the tract or passageway of the digestive system that leads from the mouth to the anus. The GI tract contains all the major organs of the digestive system, in humans and ...
. Though different foods travel through the body at different rates, an average speed through the human
small intestine The small intestine or small bowel is an organ in the gastrointestinal tract where most of the absorption of nutrients from food takes place. It lies between the stomach and large intestine, and receives bile and pancreatic juice through the ...
is . The human
lymphatic system The lymphatic system, or lymphoid system, is an organ system in vertebrates that is part of the immune system, and complementary to the circulatory system. It consists of a large network of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, lymphatic or lymphoid ...
is also constantly causing movements of excess
fluids In physics, a fluid is a liquid, gas, or other material that continuously deforms (''flows'') under an applied shear stress, or external force. They have zero shear modulus, or, in simpler terms, are substances which cannot resist any shear f ...
,
lipids Lipids are a broad group of naturally-occurring molecules which includes fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E and K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, phospholipids, and others. The functions of lipids include ...
, and immune system related products around the body. The lymph fluid has been found to move through a lymph capillary of the
skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection, regulation, and sensation. Other animal coverings, such as the arthropod exoskeleton, have different d ...
at approximately 0.0000097 m/s.

## Cells

The
cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Locations * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a religious recluse lives, alternatively the small precursor of a monastery w ...
of the
human body The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis and the viability of the human body. It comprises a head ...
have many structures and organelles which move throughout them.
Cytoplasmic streaming Cytoplasmic streaming, also called protoplasmic streaming and cyclosis, is the flow of the cytoplasm inside the cell, driven by forces from the cytoskeleton. It is likely that its function is, at least in part, to speed up the transport of m ...
is a way in which cells move molecular substances throughout the
cytoplasm In cell biology, the cytoplasm is all of the material within a eukaryotic cell, enclosed by the cell membrane, except for the cell nucleus. The material inside the nucleus and contained within the nuclear membrane is termed the nucleoplasm. T ...
, various
motor proteins Motor proteins are a class of molecular motors that can move along the cytoplasm of cells. They convert chemical energy into mechanical work by the hydrolysis of ATP. Flagellar rotation, however, is powered by a proton pump. Cellular functions ...
work as
molecular motors Molecular motors are natural (biological) or artificial molecular machines that are the essential agents of movement in living organisms. In general terms, a motor is a device that consumes energy in one form and converts it into motion or mecha ...
within a cell and move along the surface of various cellular substrates such as
microtubules Microtubules are polymers of tubulin that form part of the cytoskeleton and provide structure and shape to eukaryotic cells. Microtubules can be as long as 50 micrometres, as wide as 23 to 27  nm and have an inner diameter between 11 a ...
hydrolysis Hydrolysis (; ) is any chemical reaction in which a molecule of water breaks one or more chemical bonds. The term is used broadly for substitution, elimination, and solvation reactions in which water is the nucleophile. Biological hydrolys ...
of
adenosine triphosphate Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is an organic compound that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, such as muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, condensate dissolution, and chemical synthesis. Found in all known form ...
(ATP), and convert chemical energy into mechanical work. Vesicles propelled by motor proteins have been found to have a velocity of approximately 0.00000152 m/s.

## Particles

According to the
laws of thermodynamics The laws of thermodynamics are a set of scientific laws which define a group of physical quantities, such as temperature, energy, and entropy, that characterize thermodynamic systems in thermodynamic equilibrium. The laws also use various parame ...
, all
particles In the physical sciences, a particle (or corpuscule in older texts) is a small localized object which can be described by several physical or chemical properties, such as volume, density, or mass. They vary greatly in size or quantity, from su ...
of
matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which are made up of interacting subatomic parti ...
are in constant random motion as long as the
temperature Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses quantitatively the perceptions of hotness and coldness. Temperature is measured with a thermometer. Thermometers are calibrated in various temperature scales that historically have relied o ...
is above
absolute zero Absolute zero is the lowest limit of the thermodynamic temperature scale, a state at which the enthalpy and entropy of a cooled ideal gas reach their minimum value, taken as zero kelvin. The fundamental particles of nature have minimum vibratio ...
. Thus the
molecule A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by attractive forces known as chemical bonds; depending on context, the term may or may not include ions which satisfy this criterion. In quantum physics, organic chemistry, and bioch ...
s and
atom Every atom is composed of a nucleus and one or more electrons bound to the nucleus. The nucleus is made of one or more protons and a number of neutrons. Only the most common variety of hydrogen has no neutrons. Every solid, liquid, gas, ...
s which make up the human body are vibrating, colliding, and moving. This motion can be detected as temperature; higher temperatures, which represent greater
kinetic energy In physics, the kinetic energy of an object is the energy that it possesses due to its motion. It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. Having gained this energy during its accele ...
in the particles, feel warm to humans who sense the thermal energy transferring from the object being touched to their nerves. Similarly, when lower temperature objects are touched, the senses perceive the transfer of heat away from the body as a feeling of cold.

## Subatomic particles

Within the standard atomic orbital model,
electron The electron ( or ) is a subatomic particle with a negative one elementary electric charge. Electrons belong to the first generation of the lepton particle family, and are generally thought to be elementary particles because they have no ...
s exist in a region around the nucleus of each atom. This region is called the
electron cloud In atomic theory and quantum mechanics, an atomic orbital is a function describing the location and wave-like behavior of an electron in an atom. This function can be used to calculate the probability of finding any electron of an atom in any sp ...
. According to Bohr's model of the atom, electrons have a high
velocity Velocity is the directional speed of an object in motion as an indication of its rate of change in position as observed from a particular frame of reference and as measured by a particular standard of time (e.g. northbound). Velocity ...
, and the larger the nucleus they are orbiting the faster they would need to move. If electrons were to move about the electron cloud in strict paths the same way planets orbit the sun, then electrons would be required to do so at speeds which would far exceed the speed of light. However, there is no reason that one must confine oneself to this strict conceptualization (that electrons move in paths the same way macroscopic objects do), rather one can conceptualize electrons to be 'particles' that capriciously exist within the bounds of the electron cloud. Inside the
atomic nucleus The atomic nucleus is the small, dense region consisting of protons and neutrons at the center of an atom, discovered in 1911 by Ernest Rutherford based on the 1909 Geiger–Marsden gold foil experiment. After the discovery of the neutro ...
, the
proton A proton is a stable subatomic particle, symbol , H+, or 1H+ with a positive electric charge of +1 ''e'' elementary charge. Its mass is slightly less than that of a neutron and 1,836 times the mass of an electron (the proton–electron mas ...
s and
neutron The neutron is a subatomic particle, symbol or , which has a neutral (not positive or negative) charge, and a mass slightly greater than that of a proton. Protons and neutrons constitute the nuclei of atoms. Since protons and neutrons beha ...
s are also probably moving around due to the electrical repulsion of the protons and the presence of
angular momentum In physics, angular momentum (rarely, moment of momentum or rotational momentum) is the rotational analog of linear momentum. It is an important physical quantity because it is a conserved quantity—the total angular momentum of a closed syste ...
of both particles.

# Light

Light moves at a speed of 299,792,458 m/s, or , in a vacuum. The speed of light in vacuum (or $c$) is also the speed of all
massless particle In particle physics, a massless particle is an elementary particle whose invariant mass is zero. There are two known gauge boson massless particles: the photon (carrier of electromagnetism) and the gluon (carrier of the strong force). However, gl ...
s and associated
fields Fields may refer to: Music *Fields (band), an indie rock band formed in 2006 *Fields (progressive rock band), a progressive rock band formed in 1971 * ''Fields'' (album), an LP by Swedish-based indie rock band Junip (2010) * "Fields", a song by ...
in a vacuum, and it is the upper limit on the speed at which energy, matter, information or causation can travel. The speed of light in vacuum is thus the upper limit for speed for all physical systems. In addition, the speed of light is an
invariant Invariant and invariance may refer to: Computer science * Invariant (computer science), an expression whose value doesn't change during program execution ** Loop invariant, a property of a program loop that is true before (and after) each iterat ...
quantity: it has the same value, irrespective of the position or speed of the observer. This property makes the speed of light ''c'' a natural measurement unit for speed and a fundamental constant of nature. In 2011, the speed of light was redefined alongside all seven SI base units using what it calls "the explicit-constant formulation", where each "unit is defined indirectly by specifying explicitly an exact value for a well-recognized fundamental constant", as was done for the speed of light. A new, but completely equivalent, wording of the metre's definition was proposed: "The metre, symbol m, is the unit of length; its magnitude is set by fixing the numerical value of the speed of light in vacuum to be equal to exactly when it is expressed in the SI unit ." This implicit change to the speed of light was one of the changes that was incorporated in the
2019 redefinition of the SI base units In 2019, four of the seven SI base units specified in the International System of Quantities were redefined in terms of natural physical constants, rather than human artifacts such as the standard kilogram. Effective 20 May 2019, the 144t ...
, also termed the ''New SI''.

## Superluminal motion

Some motion appears to an observer to exceed the speed of light. Bursts of energy moving out along the
relativistic jet An astrophysical jet is an astronomical phenomenon where outflows of ionised matter are emitted as an extended beam along the axis of rotation. When this greatly accelerated matter in the beam approaches the speed of light, astrophysical jets beco ...
s emitted from these objects can have a
proper motion Proper motion is the astrometric measure of the observed changes in the apparent places of stars or other celestial objects in the sky, as seen from the center of mass of the Solar System, compared to the abstract background of the more dista ...
that appears greater than the speed of light. All of these sources are thought to contain a
black hole A black hole is a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing, including light or other electromagnetic waves, has enough energy to escape it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can defo ...
, responsible for the ejection of mass at high velocities.
Light echo 309x309px, Reflected light following path B arrives shortly after the direct flash following path A but before light following path C. B and C have the same apparent distance from the star as seen from Earth.">Earth.html" ;"title="apparent distan ...
es can also produce apparent superluminal motion. This occurs owing to how motion is often calculated at long distances; oftentimes calculations fail to account for the fact that the speed of light is finite. When measuring the movement of distant objects across the sky, there is a large time delay between what has been observed and what has occurred, due to the large distance the light from the distant object has to travel to reach us. The error in the above naive calculation comes from the fact that when an object has a component of velocity directed towards the Earth, as the object moves closer to the Earth that time delay becomes smaller. This means that the apparent speed as calculated above is ''greater'' than the actual speed. Correspondingly, if the object is moving away from the Earth, the above calculation underestimates the actual speed.

# Types of motion

*
Simple harmonic motion In mechanics and physics, simple harmonic motion (sometimes abbreviated ) is a special type of periodic motion of a body resulting from a dynamic equilibrium between an inertial force, proportional to the acceleration of the body away from the ...
– motion in which the body oscillates in such a way that the restoring force acting on it is directly proportional to the body's displacement. Mathematically Force is directly proportional to the negative of displacement. Negative sign signifies the restoring nature of the force. (e.g., that of a
pendulum A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. When a pendulum is displaced sideways from its resting, equilibrium position, it is subject to a restoring force due to gravity that will accelerate it back toward the ...
). *
Linear motion Linear motion, also called rectilinear motion, is one-dimensional motion along a straight line, and can therefore be described mathematically using only one spatial dimension. The linear motion can be of two types: uniform linear motion, with co ...
– motion which follows a straight
linear Linearity is the property of a mathematical relationship (''function'') that can be graphically represented as a straight line. Linearity is closely related to '' proportionality''. Examples in physics include rectilinear motion, the linear re ...
path, and whose
displacement Displacement may refer to: Physical sciences Mathematics and Physics * Displacement (geometry), is the difference between the final and initial position of a point trajectory (for instance, the center of mass of a moving object). The actual path ...
is exactly the same as its
trajectory A trajectory or flight path is the path that an object with mass in motion follows through space as a function of time. In classical mechanics, a trajectory is defined by Hamiltonian mechanics via canonical coordinates; hence, a complete traje ...
. lso_known_as_ lso_known_as_rectilinear_motion">rectilinear_motion.html"_;"title="lso_known_as_rectilinear_motion">lso_known_as_rectilinear_motion*_Reciprocating_motion.html" ;"title="rectilinear_motion.html" ;"title="rectilinear_motion.html" ;"title="lso known as rectilinear motion">lso known as rectilinear motion">rectilinear_motion.html" ;"title="lso known as rectilinear motion">lso known as rectilinear motion* Reciprocating motion">Reciprocal motion * Brownian motion (i.e. the random movement of particles) *
Circular motion In physics, circular motion is a movement of an object along the circumference of a circle or rotation along a circular path. It can be uniform, with constant angular rate of rotation and constant speed, or non-uniform with a changing rate of rot ...
* Rotational motion, Rotatory motion – a motion about a fixed point. (e.g. Ferris wheel). * Curvilinear motion – It is defined as the motion along a curved path that may be planar or in three dimensions. *
Rolling Rolling is a type of motion that combines rotation (commonly, of an axially symmetric object) and translation of that object with respect to a surface (either one or the other moves), such that, if ideal conditions exist, the two are in conta ...
motion – (as of the wheel of a bicycle) * Oscillatory – (swinging from side to side) * Vibratory motion * Combination (or simultaneous) motions – Combination of two or more above listed motions *
Projectile motion Projectile motion is a form of motion experienced by an object or particle (a projectile) that is projected in a gravitational field, such as from Earth's surface, and moves along a curved path under the action of gravity only. In the particul ...
– uniform horizontal motion + vertical accelerated motion

# Fundamental motions

*
Linear motion Linear motion, also called rectilinear motion, is one-dimensional motion along a straight line, and can therefore be described mathematically using only one spatial dimension. The linear motion can be of two types: uniform linear motion, with co ...
*
Circular motion In physics, circular motion is a movement of an object along the circumference of a circle or rotation along a circular path. It can be uniform, with constant angular rate of rotation and constant speed, or non-uniform with a changing rate of rot ...
* Oscillation *
Wave In physics, mathematics, and related fields, a wave is a propagating dynamic disturbance (change from equilibrium) of one or more quantities. Waves can be periodic, in which case those quantities oscillate repeatedly about an equilibrium (re ...
* Relative motion * Fundamental motions