# 2.1 Displacement

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• Define position, displacement, distance, and distance traveled.
• Explain the relationship between position and displacement.
• Distinguish between displacement and distance traveled.
• Calculate displacement and distance given initial position, final position, and the path between the two.

## Position

In order to describe the motion of an object, you must first be able to describe its position    —where it is at any particular time. More precisely, you need to specify its position relative to a convenient reference frame. Earth is often used as a reference frame, and we often describe the position of an object as it relates to stationary objects in that reference frame. For example, a rocket launch would be described in terms of the position of the rocket with respect to the Earth as a whole, while a professor’s position could be described in terms of where she is in relation to the nearby white board. (See [link] .) In other cases, we use reference frames that are not stationary but are in motion relative to the Earth. To describe the position of a person in an airplane, for example, we use the airplane, not the Earth, as the reference frame. (See [link] .)

## Displacement

If an object moves relative to a reference frame (for example, if a professor moves to the right relative to a white board or a passenger moves toward the rear of an airplane), then the object’s position changes. This change in position is known as displacement    . The word “displacement” implies that an object has moved, or has been displaced.

## Displacement

Displacement is the change in position of an object:

$\text{Δ}x={x}_{\text{f}}-{x}_{0},$

where $\text{Δ}x$ is displacement, ${x}_{\text{f}}$ is the final position, and ${x}_{0}$ is the initial position.

In this text the upper case Greek letter $\text{Δ}$ (delta) always means “change in” whatever quantity follows it; thus, $\text{Δ}x$ means change in position . Always solve for displacement by subtracting initial position ${x}_{0}$ from final position ${x}_{\text{f}}$ .

Note that the SI unit for displacement is the meter (m) (see Physical Quantities and Units ), but sometimes kilometers, miles, feet, and other units of length are used. Keep in mind that when units other than the meter are used in a problem, you may need to convert them into meters to complete the calculation.

what is motion
When a body changes its position with respect to its surroundings then it is said to be in motion
Jon
it is a change in position, direction, shape and arrangement of a body or an object which is initially at rest
Abolarin
Pls guys am having problem on these topics: latent heat of fusion, specific heat capacity and the sub topics under them.Pls who can help?
Thanks George,I appreciate.
hamidat
this will lead you rightly of the formula to use
Abolarin
Most especially it is the calculatory aspects that is giving me issue, but with these new strength that you guys have given me,I will put in my best to understand it again.
hamidat
you can bring up a question and let's see what we can do to it
Abolarin
I also have a problem with the calculation sincerely
Sulaimon
the distance between two suasive crests of water wave traveling of 3.6ms1 is 0.45m calculate the frequency of the wave
v=f×lemda where the velocity is given and lends also given so simply u can calculate the frequency
Abdul
You are right my brother, make frequency the subject of formula and equate the values of velocity and lamda into the equation, that all.
hamidat
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When light is reflected at Brewster's angle from a smooth surface, it is 100% polarizedparallel to the surface. Part of the light will be refracted into the surface.
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i want jamb related question on this asap🙏
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it can simple defined as constant temperature
Boyles law states that the volume of a fixed amount of a gas is inversely proportional to the pressure acting on in provided that the temperature is constant.that is V=k(1/p) or V=k/p
what is motion
getting notifications for a dictionary word, smh
Anderson
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