9 Linear Motion Examples: Detailed Explanations

In this article, let us discuss the different examples of linear motion and their detailed explanations.

A free movement of an object concerning time is termed motion. Motion is nothing but the phenomenon of position changing; if this change occurs in a straight line, it is considered a linear position. Linear motion is one-dimensional; a moving train can be one of the best examples to interpret a linear motion.

In the following section, we will mention some examples of linear motion.

Read more: 20+ rectilinear motion examples

linear motion examples

Read more: 16+ uniform circular motion examples

What do you mean by a linear motion?

Linear motion is a type of motion that can be explained as follows,

Linear motion infers that the position of an object is changing over time in a straight line or a linear manner. Can take the motion as fast or even as slow. The parameters required to describe are distance, speed and time.

In the next part, we can know the further details of a linear motion.

How many coordinates are required to depict a linear motion?

The motion of any object is always taken with respect to time and a reference point.

If only a single coordinate in addition to time is sufficient to interpret the motion, it is considered a linear type of motion. The body moves from one point to another in a straight line. Also, the object undergoing a linear motion covers equal distance in equal time intervals.

Let us now study the various types of linear motions.

What is the difference between rectilinear and curvilinear motion?

Both rectilinear and curvilinear motions are one-dimensional motions.

In rectilinear motion, the path of change in position is a straight line. Here, the particles of a body move at equal distances in the same intervals of time, whereas the motion is along a curved path in the case of curvilinear motion.

In curvilinear motion, the direction of the body is not altered, but only the individual particles present in the body follow a curved path.

Further, are some other different types of linear motion.

Linear motion types:

There are two types of linear motion. They are,

 Uniform motion: 

Suppose the body moves in a straight line without any acceleration, i.e., if the body’s speed remains constant. The motion is considered to be a uniform motion. The distance versus straight speed line graph represents the uniform type of motion.

Non-uniform motion:

If the body is observed to travel unequal distances in equal intervals or if it is not moving with a constant speed, it is said to be undergoing non-uniform motion. The graphical representation of a non-uniform motion is not a straight line.

Read more: Linear frequency: what, how to find and interesting facts.

Bullet firing

When a bullet is fired from a gun, the bullet is observed to travel in a straight line after coming out of the barrel without any deviation. And the gun is found to show a motion in the opposite direction which is also a linear type of motion. Thus bullet firing is undoubtedly a process that interprets linear motion.

linear motion examples
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Door Sliding

The sliding door is a door like barrier that is supposed to move either right or left wards on a track when pushed or pulled so that it enables the person to move in or out by closing or opening the door; thus, it is bound to move in a straight line as it may move only on the fixed casing. The Sliding door depicts the best instance of a straight line motion in day-to-day life.

Image credits: Pixabay free images



The soldiers, when marching, are found to be performing a rectilinear motion. They usually move forward, traveling in a path of a straight line. This motion of soldiers can be seen to be very uniform and synchronous. Therefore a group of soldiers performing the parade continuously undergoes a linear motion, thus being an example of the straight-line motion.


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Swimming in a straight line

If a swimmer chooses a path along a straight line while swimming, they are supposed to move their hands and legs in the forward direction so that they can push the water forcefully in the opposite direction, i.e., opposite to that of the direction of motion that is along the backward direction. Hence, the person is exhibiting linear motion along the forward direction.

linear motion examples
Image credits: Pixabay free images


When a bowler exerts a force (generally muscular) on the ball, it is observed to roll along the path of a straight line as he directs his force along the rectilinear path. Also, when the ball is kicked in a football sport, the ball behaves in an identical manner traveling in the lane of a straight line. Hence, the rolling ball depicts one of the best examples of linear motion in daily life.

Image credits: Pixabay free images

An airplane flying straight

While moving from one point to another, an airplane exhibits a straight line motion. It is also beneficial when the plane takes a straight line path since the distance to be covered is reduced, and in turn, the required time to cover the specified distance from one location to another is also reduced. Thus, one can choose the motion of a plane to be the linear type of motion.

Image credits: Pixabay free images


A playing slide is also an important example to explain a linear motion. An inclined plane attached to the surface a ladder to climb on the other side is a playing slide. Due to gravitational force, the child slides or moves down the slide along a straight line, thus performing a linear motion.

Image credits: Pixabay free images

The freefall of a body

When a body is allowed to undergo a free fall by just dropping it from a height, it is found to get attracted to the surface due to the gravitational influence of earth on the body. The body is observed to fall freely in a linear path without any deviation in the path, thus exhibiting a rectilinear type of motion in everyday life. The best example demonstrating free fall as a linear motion is an apple falling from a tree.

The motion of a car on a straight line

A car takes a straight-line path from one location to another with constant speed or varying speed, thus exhibiting a linear motion while moving in a backward or a forward direction on the road.

linear motion examples
Image credits: Pixabay free images


The movement of an elevator is always in an upward or downward direction attached to a rail so that it is bound or restricted to move in a straight line without deviating from the track. The elevator motion is usually due to the help of an electrically charged mechanism involving a pulley. Thus, the motion of an elevator best demonstrates a linear motion.

Image credits: Pixabay free images




Harshitha H N

Hi.....I am Harshitha H N. I have completed my master's in Physics from the University of Mysore with a specialization in Nuclear physics. I am well versed in the field of Latex, GAMESS software, and AVAGADRO software. I enjoy exploring new things in my free time. My article always aims to develop and bring some value to the table with relevant topics. Let’s connect through LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshitha-h-n-368418249

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