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What's the difference between speed and velocity?

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azzyj | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted November 23, 2011 at 2:41 AM via web

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What's the difference between speed and velocity?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 23, 2011 at 3:13 AM (Answer #1)

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This is a great question and I can see your confusion. There are similarities, but there are also differences. I will give you a definition of each and then provide an example.

Speed refers to how fast an object is moving. It is calculated by the displacement of space per a unit of time.

Velocity refer to the rate at which an object changes position in a certain direction. It is calculated by the displacement of space per a unit of time in a certain direction.

These definition might sound the same, but there is a crucial difference. It deals with direction. Velocity deals with direction and speed does not. Let me give you an example.

If you were driving at 50 miles per hour to get to a store, you would say that your speed is 50 miles per hours. If you were driving in a circle and ended at the same place, you would say that your velocity is zero, because there was no directional gain. The key to remember is that velocity is a vector, which means there is a directional component.

 

 

 

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kashmirinnocence | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 27, 2011 at 1:36 PM (Answer #2)

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firstly u need to know what a VECTOR is

for sake of simlicity u may take vector as a measure that along with a specific magnitude(e.g,10 m) also carries a direction(e.g,right direction of a specific point)

NOW ,VELOCITY is a vector quantity. you may already know what speed is (distance travelled per unit time) now just add a specific direction to it AND U GET VELOCITY

OR VELOCITY is displacement(SHORTEST DISTANCE FROM ORIGIN TO FINAL POSITION IN A SPECIFIC DIRECTION)PER UNIT TIME

AS per ur current standard these terms may and actually can be quite same but as u advance u shall be able to appreciate how different they can be

e,g i may tell u that a moving body may have NEGATIVE velocity but it cant have negative speed!

if feel intrigued by this  u will surely enjoy newtonian physics in higher classes

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