In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its position over time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of displacement, distance, velocity, acceleration, speed, and time. The motion of a body is observed by attaching a frame of reference 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 kinematics; the branch studying forces and their effect on motion is dynamics.

Motion involves a change in position

If an object is not changing relatively 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 position with reference to its surroundings. As there is no absolute frame of reference, absolute motion cannot be determined.[1] Thus, everything in the universe can be considered to be in motion.[2]:20–21

Motion applies to various physical systems: to objects, bodies, matter particles, matter fields, radiation, radiation fields, radiation particles, curvature, and space-time. One can also speak of motion of images, shapes, and boundaries. So, the term motion, in general, 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 about the motion of a quantum particle, where the configuration consists of probabilities of occupying specific positions.

The main quantity that measures the motion of a body is momentum. An object's momentum increases with the object's mass and with its velocity. The total momentum of all objects in an isolated system (one not affected by external forces) does not change with time, as described by the law of conservation of momentum. An object's motion, and thus its momentum, cannot change unless a force acts on the body.