Difference Between Kinetics and Kinematics (With Table)

Kinetics and Kinematics are two essential branches of science. They are the branches that focus on studying various parameters of motion. They give a detailed understanding of the nature of the activity. But these two terms differ in the ways they research motion. Knowing the discrepancy between them provides a practical knowledge of both branches.

Kinetics vs Kinematics

The main difference between Kinetics and Kinematics is that kinetics is the branch of physics related to how the action arises. On the other hand, Kinematics is the branch of mathematics related to movement geometry. Kinetics studies the cause of action while kinematics studies acceleration, the position of the movement.

Kinetics is a very crucial part of mechanics. Some people commonly refer to it as dynamics. It is frequently associated with the torque and forces in action. When anything is set to work, the potential energy stored in the thing converts to kinetic energy. This energy is then utilized to change motion.

Kinematics is the study of how movement or motion functions. It doesn’t give any information on how the action occurs. It describes the position, acceleration, and velocity of the movement. It describes different functions of the object while it is in motion. Thus occasionally, scientists imply it as the geometry of motion.

Comparison Table Between Kinetics and Kinematics

Parameters of Comparison




Kinetic studies the causes of Motion.

Kinematic studies acceleration, speed, velocity, and direction of motion.

Mass consideration

The abundance and weight of the subject are taken into consideration while dealing with kinetics.

The abundance and weight of the subjects are not taken into concern while dealing with kinematics.

Force consideration 

Kinetics takes into account the force assigned to the subject thoughtfully.

Kinematics doesn’t take the force applied to an object as thoughtfully.


Kinetics is usually used in the automobile design industry.

Kinematics is usually used to study the movement of objects such as celestial bodies.


Kinetics is the field of physics and can’t be regarded as a subject of mathematics.

Kinematics is often considered a field of mathematics.

What is Kinetics?

Kinetics is sometimes referred to as dynamics, and it deals with the forces responsible for producing motion. In other words, it focuses on the causes of movement rather than its working. An object can only be set in motion if the force is applied. For example, you can spin a top ( set the top in motion) only if you use the pressure of your hand to the top.

When you put force on the spinning top, the potential energy stocked in it gets transformed into kinetic energy, and that’s how it begins to swirl. The top is set by power into the circular motion. Here kinetics function to understand the forces and causes of movement. 

Kinetics puts up with and considers the mass of the subject. As in the above example, you can see that you can only understand the force on the object if you consider the weight on the top. It contemplates the mass of each particle of an object. Also, kinetics deals only with the absolute motion of an object. 

Kinetics is applicable in various fields. For example, In biochemistry, While giving the rate of chemical reaction, the kinetics of the response is considered. Also, it is used to demonstrate the effect of various inhibitors on chemical reactions.

What is Kinematics?

The term kinematics is derived from the Greek term kinesis, and in Greek, this term kinesia implies motion. Kinematics is also thought to be associated with the English phrases cinema (movement of pictures) and kinesiology (action and role of cells in producing diseases). 

Kinematics is the geometrical aspect of any motion. It is sometimes also referred to as applied kinematics. There are also theories of this applied kinematics used in mechanical contrivance to transform one movement to another. It takes into consideration the initial position speed of the object. Concerning those parameters, kinematics can give the object’s position at any motion. 

Kinematics is a vast concept. Kinematics analysis is the term given to the examination of any moving object. Such as, in astrophysics, the motion of moving celestial bodies( the earth, other planets, stars, moon, satellites) is determined. The kinematic can give the position of the earth and its acceleration. Or the time required by satellite to reach Mars. While calculating those, kinematics doesn’t consider the force on the object or body. 

In mechanics and also in robotics, the concept of kinematics is applicable. For example, scientists can utilize kinematics to determine the speed and motion of the arm and body of a robot. Various mathematical expressions are used in kinematics to derive the state of function. It is used to derive the form and motion-related factors of real-world objects.

Main Differences Between Kinetics and Kinematics 

  1. Kinetics is the branch of physics that explores the causes of motion. On the other hand, Kinematics is the branch of mathematics that deals with time, speed, and trajectory associated with the movement of an object.
  2. Kinetics deals with the absolute motion, while Kinematics deals with the relative motion of the object.
  3. Kinetics is a branch of physics, and it cannot be considered the branch of mathematics. In contrast, Kinematics is briefly included in mathematics also.
  4. Kinetics clarifies the notions of several sciences, including biology and chemistry. In contrast, Kinematics is a physical term related to physics and mechanics. 
  5. Kinetics involves simple mathematical expressions. But since Kinematics is a part of mechanics, it involves complicated mathematical expressions.


Kinetics and Kinematics are both notions of biomechanics. They both are concerned with the elements of motion. Though the concepts of kinetics and Kinematics seem synonymous. They are not similar to each other. Their functions are different, and their applications are different.

Kinetics answers “why” questions related to motion. Such as why did the movement occur? While Kinematics answers “what” questions are related to the motion. Such as What is the velocity of the motion? What is the position of the object in motion? 

Kinetics has applications in physical, biological, and chemical systems. In contrast, Kinematics is widely used in astrophysics, robotics, and other mechanical engineering fields.


  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/j100820a601
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-32552-1_2