Velocity


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Velocity: The term velocity is often incorrectly used synonymously with the term “speed”.

While speed and velocity are related, they have one important distinction: Speed is a scalar quantity and velocity is a vector quantity. This means that speed is a magnitude and velocity is a magnitude with an associated direction.

An example of speed is driving your car 60 mph, while an example of velocity is driving your car 60 mph to the east. Although this distinction may seem trivial, in the study of physics an object’s acceleration is measured by the change in that object’s velocity, not its speed. Therefore, it is possible for an object to undergo acceleration by changing direction while maintaining a constant speed.

See also: What is Force?

This page created 01 Mar 2016 17:13
Last updated 09 Feb 2017 22:17

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