Motion and Measurement of Distances Class 6 notes - Chapter 10

An Introduction to Motion


  • A body is in a state of rest when it does not change its position with respect to time.
  • A body is said to be in motion when it changes its position with respect to time.

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Introduction to Motion

Means of transport

  • Ever since ancient times, humans have devised different means of transport to traverse from one place to another.
  • They designed boats that resemble the shapes of animals living in water to travel across water bodies. They invented the wheel, which led to inventions like carts and other animal driven modes of transport.
  • During the beginning of the 19th-century humans designed the steam engine, which was followed by automobiles and motorised vehicles.

Measuring Length: A History

Length and distance

  • Distance is the measure of how far or long something is. E.g.: the length of a table, or a soccer field or, how far is Mumbai from Delhi?
  • Length can be measured in terms of a unit. A unit is a comparison of an unknown quantity with that of a known quantity. It is required to establish a common standard or convention in order to make calculations and analysis easier worldwide.

Traditional ways of measuring lengths

Traditional methods of measuring length were the use of the length one’s foot or other body parts. But, was inconsistent since this varies from person to person and lacks uniformity.

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Standard Units

Standardising length measurement

  • Scientists from all over the world have accepted a common standard units of measurement.
  • The International System of Units (S.I unit) was set up as the convention for measurement worldwide.
  • A metre is the SI unit of length. It has 100 equal divisions called as centimetres.
  • To measure large distances we use kilometres. 1 Km = 1000 metres.

Zero error and Correct way to measure length

  • Scale must be in contact with the object being measured.
  • If scales are broken or the zero mark is not visible, it can lead to a zero error. Then measuring from a different mark must be carried out.
  • The correct reading will be obtained by subtracting the value from the full mark considered as the zero.
  • While measuring the eye must be exactly above the point where the measurement is to be taken, in order to avoid parallax errors.

Errors in Measurements: The Basics


Parallax is the displacement or the change in the apparent position of the object when viewed from two different points of views. This type of error while measuring is called as parallax error.

CBSE Class 6 Science notes Chapter 10 - 1

How to Measure a Curved Line

Length of a curved line

  • Curved lengths cannot be measured using metre scales.
  • A string or a thread can be used to measure curved lines by creating a knot at one end and keeping that at the beginning, one can trace the curved line.
  • Then this length can be stretched out and measured with the help of a metre scale.
  • A measuring tape can be used to find lengths of curved objects. E.g. girth of a tree trunk, or length of a snake.

CBSE Class 6 Science notes Chapter 10 - 2

Motion and Its Types

Types of motion

  • When a body is moving in a straight line path, it is called rectilinear motion. E.g. : a coin falling from a building, or a sprinter running a 100 metre race.
  • When an object is following a circular path of motion, it is called as circular motion. E.g. the moon revolving around the earth.
  • When an object moves to and fro from a mean or constant position or repeats the motion, it is called as periodic motion. E.g. : a pendulum, or a race car taking laps of a circuit.

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Types of Motion


Time is the unit that measures how long it takes to do anything. Distance is measured with respect to time.

If an object is moving with some speed ‘s’ for a time interval ‘t’, then the distance covered in that time will be = s x t

Learn more about the Motion and Measurement of Distances from the topics given below:

Frequently asked Questions on CBSE Class 6 Science Notes Chapter 10: Motion and Measurement of Distances

What is parallax error?

Parallax error is the displacement or difference in the position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight.

How can parallax error be reduced?

1. Proper orientation of the eye in straight line 2. A fine edged device must be used 3. Average of readings taken 4. Read lower meniscus for colourless liquids

What is zero error?

It is a condition where the measuring instrument registers a reading when there should actually be no reading.

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