speed and velocityi see no differencebetween the terms but my teacher says that it is.

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The second response is a good one. Basically, both speed and velocity involve movement. Speed is how fast an object is moving, whereas velocity is speed in a specific direction. So by that logic, speed is a less specific term than velocity, because it does not include direction.
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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The difference is that velocity has a direction to it and speed does not.  If you are going to be technically correct, you have to talk about the velocity of an object in a specific direction.  Speed can be given regardless of direction, but velocity must have a direction -- it is a vector quantity while speed is a scalar quantity.

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Speed is a scalar quantity and velocity is a vector quantity. As we know, a vector is described by magnitude and direction, meanwhile the scalar quantity is described only by the magnitude.

So, when we want to determine the rate of changing a position of an object, we'll have to calculate the velocity. If we want just to know how fast is moving that object, we'll have to determine only the speed.


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