# 2.3 Time, velocity, and speed  (Page 2/11)

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## Average velocity

Average velocity is displacement (change in position) divided by the time of travel ,

$\stackrel{-}{v}=\frac{\Delta x}{\Delta t}=\frac{{x}_{f}-{x}_{0}}{{t}_{f}-{t}_{0}},$

where $\stackrel{-}{v}$ is the average (indicated by the bar over the $v$ ) velocity, $\Delta x$ is the change in position (or displacement), and ${x}_{f}$ and ${x}_{0}$ are the final and beginning positions at times ${t}_{f}$ and ${t}_{0}$ , respectively. If the starting time ${t}_{0}$ is taken to be zero, then the average velocity is simply

$\stackrel{-}{v}=\frac{\Delta x}{t}\text{.}$

Notice that this definition indicates that velocity is a vector because displacement is a vector . It has both magnitude and direction. The SI unit for velocity is meters per second or m/s, but many other units, such as km/h, mi/h (also written as mph), and cm/s, are in common use. Suppose, for example, an airplane passenger took 5 seconds to move −4 m (the negative sign indicates that displacement is toward the back of the plane). His average velocity would be

$\stackrel{-}{v}=\frac{\Delta x}{t}=\frac{-4\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}}{5\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{s}}=-\text{0.8 m/s.}$

The minus sign indicates the average velocity is also toward the rear of the plane.

The average velocity of an object does not tell us anything about what happens to it between the starting point and ending point, however. For example, we cannot tell from average velocity whether the airplane passenger stops momentarily or backs up before he goes to the back of the plane. To get more details, we must consider smaller segments of the trip over smaller time intervals.

The smaller the time intervals considered in a motion, the more detailed the information. When we carry this process to its logical conclusion, we are left with an infinitesimally small interval. Over such an interval, the average velocity becomes the instantaneous velocity or the velocity at a specific instant . A car’s speedometer, for example, shows the magnitude (but not the direction) of the instantaneous velocity of the car. (Police give tickets based on instantaneous velocity, but when calculating how long it will take to get from one place to another on a road trip, you need to use average velocity.) Instantaneous velocity $v$ is the average velocity at a specific instant in time (or over an infinitesimally small time interval).

Mathematically, finding instantaneous velocity, $v$ , at a precise instant $t$ can involve taking a limit, a calculus operation beyond the scope of this text. However, under many circumstances, we can find precise values for instantaneous velocity without calculus.

## Speed

In everyday language, most people use the terms “speed” and “velocity” interchangeably. In physics, however, they do not have the same meaning and they are distinct concepts. One major difference is that speed has no direction. Thus speed is a scalar . Just as we need to distinguish between instantaneous velocity and average velocity, we also need to distinguish between instantaneous speed and average speed.

Instantaneous speed is the magnitude of instantaneous velocity. For example, suppose the airplane passenger at one instant had an instantaneous velocity of −3.0 m/s (the minus meaning toward the rear of the plane). At that same time his instantaneous speed was 3.0 m/s. Or suppose that at one time during a shopping trip your instantaneous velocity is 40 km/h due north. Your instantaneous speed at that instant would be 40 km/h—the same magnitude but without a direction. Average speed, however, is very different from average velocity. Average speed is the distance traveled divided by elapsed time.

what happens when an unstoppable force collides an immovable object?
a radioactive nuclei of mass 6.0g has a half life of 8days. calculate during which 5.25g of the nuclei would have decay
Calculate the Newton's the weight of a 2.5 Kilogram of melon. What is its weight in pound?
calculate the tension of the cable when a buoy with 0.5m and mass of 20kg
what is displacement
it's the time rate of change of distance
Mollamin
distance in a given direction is diplacement
Musa
Distance in a spacified direction
you shouldn't say distance,displacement and distance are two different things .distance can be lopped curved but displacement is always in a straight line so you can't use distance to define it. displacement is the change of position in a specified direction.
Joshua
Well stayed josh👍
Joshua
well explained
Mary
what is the meaning of physics
to study objects in motion and how they interact or take part in the natural phenomenon of the universe.
Phill
an object that has a small mass and an object has a large mase have the same momentum which has high kinetic energy
The with smaller mass
how
Faith
Since you said they have the same momentum.. So meaning that there is more like an inverse proportionality in the quantities used to find the momentum. We are told that the the is a larger mass and a smaller mass., so we can conclude that the smaller mass had higher velocity as compared to other one
Mathamaticaly correct
Mathmaticaly correct :)
I have proven it by using my own values
Larger mass=4g Smaller mass=2g Momentum of both=8 Meaning V for L =2 and V for S=4 Now find there kinetic energies using the data presented
grateful soul...thanks alot
Faith
Welcome
2 stones are thrown vertically upward from the ground, one with 3 times the initial speed of the other. If the faster stone takes 10 s to return to the ground, how long will it take the slower stone to return? If the slower stone reaches a maximum height of H, how high will the faster stone go
30s
how can i calculate it's height
Julliene
is speed the same as velocity
no
Nebil
in a question i ought to find the momentum but was given just mass and speed
Faith
just multiply mass and speed then you have the magnitude of momentem
Nebil
Yes
Consider speed to be velocity
it worked our . . thanks
Faith
Distinguish between semi conductor and extrinsic conductors
Suppose that a grandfather clock is running slowly; that is, the time it takes to complete each cycle is longer than it should be. Should you (@) shorten or (b) lengthen the pendulam to make the clock keep attain the preferred time?
I think you shorten am not sure
Uche
shorten it, since that is practice able using the simple pendulum as experiment
Silvia
it'll always give the results needed no need to adjust the length, it is always measured by the starting time and ending time by the clock
Paul
it's not in relation to other clocks
Paul
wat is d formular for newton's third principle
Silvia
okay
Silvia
shorten the pendulum string because the difference in length affects the time of oscillation.if short , the time taken will be adjusted.but if long ,the time taken will be twice the previous cycle.
discuss under damped
resistance of thermometer in relation to temperature
how
Bernard
that resistance is not measured yet, it may be probably in the next generation of scientists
Paul
Is fundamental quantities under physical quantities?
please I didn't not understand the concept of the physical therapy
physiotherapy - it's a practice of exercising for healthy living.
Paul
what chapter is this?
Anderson
this is not in this book, it's from other experiences.
Paul
am new in the group
Daniel