Whats the difference between speed and velocity?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • 1431 views

Although these two words can be used interchangably they are very very different. Its easier to explain if you break down their equatoins.

Speed = distance / time
Velocity = displacement / time

The difference between distance and displacement is difficulat to explain but is best described as the following:

Distance is a scalar property that refers to how much ground an oject has covered during its motion.

whereas 

Displacement is a vector quantity that refers to how far our of place an object is, i.e the objects overall change in position.

The differences in these will become more apparent when studying forces and equations of motion so do not worry if you cannot get your head around the definitions at this instant

Michael G. GCSE Biology tutor, GCSE Chemistry tutor, GCSE Maths tutor...

About the author

is an online GCSE Physics tutor with MyTutor studying at Glasgow University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok