What is the difference between speed and velocity?

The difference is a bit subtle. Velocity is speed in a particular direction.

So, for example, a car travelling at 50 miles per hour round a bend is travelling at constant speed. Its direction is changing, however, so its velocity is also changing.

Velocity is always measured from a single point. So an object traveling in a circle has velocity zero relative to the centre of the circle, since the distance from the centre to the object is constant..

Jan K. GCSE Maths tutor, A Level Maths tutor, GCSE Physics tutor, A L...

12 months ago

Answered by Jan, a GCSE Physics tutor with MyTutor

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


PremiumTimothy N. A Level Design & Technology tutor, GCSE Design & Technolog...
£36 /hr

Timothy N.

Degree: Architecture and Environmental Engineering (Masters) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:Physics, Maths+ 2 more

Design & Technology
-Personal Statements-

“Hi there, I have a passion for helping students achieve, and believe that with my 200+ hours of experience, we will be able to surpass the grades you want!”

£24 /hr

Anna W.

Degree: Medicine (Other) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered:Physics, Dutch+ 5 more

-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“Hi! I am Anna and I study Medicine. I have done the IB (new syllabus) so I know all about the new curriculum, including IAs and Exams!”

PremiumOliver B. GCSE Chemistry tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, GCSE Geology tuto...
£36 /hr

Oliver B.

Degree: Medicine (PhD) (Doctorate) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:Physics, Science+ 5 more

Extended Project Qualification
-Personal Statements-

“I have been teaching here since 2013 and use various teaching styles depending on what helps you to learn best!”

About the author

Jan K.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: Mathematics and Music (Bachelors) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered:Physics, Maths


“About Myself I am a Mathematics student at Edinburgh University. I have a real passion for Mathematics, and I thouroughly enjoy explaining mathematical concepts to others. Having been home-educated all through school (which also gave ...”

You may also like...

Posts by Jan

How do I solve this inequality: x^2>2x ?

What is the difference between speed and velocity?

Other GCSE Physics questions

A rocket travels at 500m/s two minutes after its take-off. If it was initially stationary, calculate its acceleration. If the rocket has a mass of 1800kg, what force is required to give it an acceleration of 2m/s^2?

Define the term ultrasound wave

Compare the medical uses of ultrasound and X-rays. Your answer should include the risks, if any, and precautions, if any, associated with the use of ultrasound and X-rays. [6 marks]

Describe the model now used for the structure of an atom. Refer to the constituent particles including their relative masses and charges.

View GCSE Physics 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