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Speed, average velocity and instantaneous velocity

Velocity

Velocity is the rate of change of displacement.

Instantaneous velocity

Instantaneous velocity is the velocity of a body at a specific instant in time.

Average velocity

Average velocity is the total displacement of a body over a time interval.

Velocity is the rate of change of position. It tells us how much an object's position changes in time. This is the same as the displacement divided by the time taken. Since displacement is a vector and time taken is a scalar, velocity is also a vector. We use the symbol v for velocity. If we have a displacement of Δ x and a time taken of Δ t , v is then defined as:

velocity ( in m · s - 1 ) = change in displacement ( in m ) change in time ( in s ) v = Δ x Δ t

Velocity can be positive or negative. Positive values of velocity mean that the object is moving away from the reference point or origin and negative values mean that the object is moving towards the reference point or origin.

An instant in time is different from the time taken or the time interval. It is therefore useful to use the symbol t for an instant in time (for example during the 4 th second) and the symbol Δ t for the time taken (for example during the first 5 seconds of the motion).

Average velocity (symbol v ) is the displacement for the whole motion divided by the time taken for the whole motion. Instantaneous velocity is the velocity at a specific instant in time.

This is terminology that occurs quite often and it is important to always remember that instantaneous and average quantities are not always the same. In fact, they can be very different. The magnitude of the instantaneous velocity is the same as the slope of the line which is a tangent to the displacement curve at the time of measurement. The magnitude of the average velocity is the same as the slope of the line between the start and end points of the interval.

If you want to think about why the tangent at a particular time gives us the velocity remember that the velocity is the slope of the displacement curve. Now, a simple why to start thinking about it is to image you could zoom (magnify) the displacement curve at the point. The more you zoom in the more it will look like a straight line at the point and that straight line will be very similar to the tangent line at the point. This isn't a mathematical proof but you will learn one later on in mathematics about limits and slopes.

(Average) Speed (symbol s ) is the distance travelled ( D ) divided by the time taken ( Δ t ) for the journey. Distance and time are scalars and therefore speed will also be a scalar. Speed is calculated as follows:

speed ( in m · s - 1 ) = distance ( in m ) time ( in s )
s = D Δ t

Instantaneous speed is the magnitude of instantaneous velocity. It has the same value, but no direction.

James walks 2 km away from home in 30 minutes. He then turns around and walks back home along the same path, also in 30 minutes. Calculate James' average speed and average velocity.

  1. The question explicitly gives

    • the distance and time out (2 km in 30 minutes)
    • the distance and time back (2 km in 30 minutes)
  2. The information is not in SI units and must therefore be converted.

    To convert km to m, we know that:

    1 km = 1 000 m 2 km = 2 000 m ( multiply both sides by 2 )

    Similarly, to convert 30 minutes to seconds,

    1 min = 60 s 30 min = 1 800 s ( multiply both sides by 30 )
  3. James started at home and returned home, so his displacement is 0 m.

    Δ x = 0 m

    James walked a total distance of 4 000 m (2 000 m out and 2 000 m back).

    D = 4 000 m
  4. James took 1 800 s to walk out and 1 800 s to walk back.

    Δ t = 3 600 s
  5. s = D Δ t = 4 000 m 3 600 s = 1 , 11 m · s - 1
  6. v = Δ x Δ t = 0 m 3 600 s = 0 m · s - 1

Questions & Answers

Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
hi
Loga
The fundamental frequency of a sonometer wire streached by a load of relative density 's'are n¹ and n² when the load is in air and completly immersed in water respectively then the lation n²/na is
Mukesh Reply
Properties of longitudinal waves
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11305/1.7
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