Difference Between Kinetics and Kinematics

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Kinetics and kinematics are two interrelated topics that are integral parts of deriving motion of a body or object working in separate spaces. Even so, these factors work hand-in-hand; they have some stark differences that students need to learn to get a firm grip on mechanics.

Often students confuse these two terms and use them as synonyms, which is incorrect. Thus, it is imperative for them to find the difference between kinetics and kinematics various points. They can start with knowing the definition of these two terms to get the basics right.

For better clarification, keep on reading!

What is Kinetics?

Kinetics, also called dynamics, is a vital part of mechanics that deals with the function of different forces and torques on an object in motion. For a matter of fact, an object moves only when these forces create movement.

For instance, when you spin a top, it rotates in a circular motion. In this case, you apply energy on the top, and that converts the top’s stored potential energy into kinetic energy. Besides, they also have some parameters that are seen in real life as well. 

Along with that, you also need to learn about kinematics as well to find a difference between kinetics and kinematics. 

What is Kinematics?

Kinematics refers to the study of how motion is working, instead of explaining the reasons for this motion. More specifically, kinematics describes the motion of an object, considering the factors like position, acceleration and velocity. It gives an answer to the different position of a body in a particular space. It also has some significant parameters that are associated with position, speed and other factors. 

Thus, before knowing about kinetics and kinematics difference, students need to learn the definitions of them. 

What is The Difference Between Kinematics and Kinetics?

The table mentioned below elucidates the kinetics and kinematics difference clearly. 




Motion Nature 

It explores causes of the motion. 

It focuses on acceleration, speed and position of an object. 

Mass Consideration 

It involves mass consideration.

It does not involve mass consideration. 


Also called dynamics 

Known by the same name

Mathematical Expression 

Do not have complicated mathematical expressions. 

Includes various mathematical expressions. 


It considers forces majorly 

It does not consider majorly

Application Areas 

Mainly in automobile designing. 

Mainly studies the movement of an object.

Other Areas

Relevant in several streams of science including chemistry and biology. 

Limited to physics and more specifically in mechanics. 

This difference between kinetics and kinematics in tabular form allows students to learn this concept quickly and remember easily. However, besides these fundamental differences, some others are there that students need to know. 

Difference Between Kinetics and Kinematics with Example

Following are some of the factors that differentiate between kinematics and kinetics further. 

1. Causes of Motion 

A major kinetic and kinematic difference is that kinetics explains concepts like

  • Different forces

  • Torques

Where kinematics explains 

  • Speed 

  • Accelerations

  • Final position of an object in motion. 

For instance, when you throw a ball in the air, kinetics explains the friction that causes the throw. Kinematics explains the acceleration, speed and final position of the ball when it falls in the ground. 

2. Particle Mass Inclusion 

Kinematics includes influences of different forces like gravitational forces that work between two systems. Kinetics consists of the masses of particulars while explaining a phenomenon. 

3. Mathematics or Physics 

While kinematics is applicable to physics and other streams of study, kinematics is restricted to mechanics only. However, some scientists also connect kinematics to mathematics as it only deals with physics. Thus, it is also called “geometry of motion” which is not applicable for kinetics. 

Students can also note down other kinematics and kinetics differences as well from their understanding of these concepts. However, they need to get it checked from the subject teacher for accuracy. 

Thus, kinetics deals with the causes of motion that is force, gravitation, torque, etc. On the other hand, kinematics deals with the position of a moving object in terms of its acceleration, velocity and other aspects. Moreover, after learning the difference between kinetics and kinematics, you can also solve moderate to difficult mathematical problems with much ease.

Furthermore, with assistance from e-learning platforms like Vedantu, you can improve your preparations. The availability of notes, model question papers, and online doubt clearing sessions helps you to iron out your doubts, and better your understanding of the topic.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Does Human Kinetics Mean?

Ans. Human kinetics is a comprehensive study that deals with human movement and physical exercises. It greatly impacts the physical performance and health. You can pursue a course on this topic and become a trained coach, trainer, and athletic therapist and like ones. 

This subject is also called biomechanics that takes into consideration skeleton, muscles and the influence of gravity. After completing this study, you can use quantitative bimolecular analysis to enhance a particular skill. Using this technique, professionals can treat ankle injuries, sprain in the high ankle, and similar physical obligations. 

2. What are the Different Types of Kinetics? 

Ans. In simple words, kinetic energy is closely related to motion. Based on this, kinetics is classified into five types- radiant, sound, electrical, thermal and mechanical. 

For instance, radiant kinetics is the energy that travels by particles or waves like X-rays, incandescent light bulbs, radio signals, etc.  

Sound energy depends on vibrations, and examples are stereo speakers, your voice, drums, etc. 

Electrical energy works through electrons, and a few examples are batteries, eel fish, desk lamp, etc.  

Thermal energy expresses heat or warmth like a geyser, engine of a running car, baking in an oven, etc. 

Lastly, mechanical kinetics energy is associated with the mechanical movement of an object. Examples are flowing rivers, wind energy, playing a piano, etc.  

3. How Kinematics and Kinetics are Relevant in Mechanics?

Ans. These two concepts quintessentially deal with the motion of a celestial body but differently. For example, when you explain the motion of a feathered cork in the air, you can demonstrate it through the conservation of energy. Similarly, you can also present it through energy in general. 

On another note, both of them clarify motion and force, which are interrelated. Thus, students need to refer to both these terms when they study physics. Besides mechanics, kinetics is also applicable in biochemistry that substantiates different nature of reactions inaccurately.