Average velocity with respect to distance

In summary, the conversation discussed the difference between expressing average velocity with respect to time and average velocity with respect to position. While average velocity with respect to time is commonly used in everyday language, there is a significance to expressing it with respect to position in Physics. This is because it represents the total displacement over total time, unlike average velocity with respect to time which is actually average speed.
  • #1
tony873004
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,752
143
In my Calculus class we had a problem to compare average velocity with respect to time vs. average velocity with respect to position.

Average velocity with respect to time is what is usually used in everyday language... "I drove to LA. I averaged 70 mph".

Then the Calc teacher asked what was the significance of expressing average velocity with respect to position. He said that there is a significance to it in Physics. Go ask your Physics friends...

Well... you people are my Physics friends.:biggrin:
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
tony873004 said:
In my Calculus class we had a problem to compare average velocity with respect to time vs. average velocity with respect to position.

Average velocity with respect to time is what is usually used in everyday language... "I drove to LA. I averaged 70 mph".

Then the Calc teacher asked what was the significance of expressing average velocity with respect to position. He said that there is a significance to it in Physics. Go ask your Physics friends...

Well... you people are my Physics friends.:biggrin:

Dimensionally it is the inverse of time.
 
  • #3
Yeah... heck. I think i got it. Average velocity wrt position mean the total DISPLACEMENT over total time. Taking your example of driving to LA, the person says, "I drove at 70mph..." So, if we assume he took one hour to travel the distance, he must have traveled 70 miles.

But, if you take say, average VELOCITY, its the magnitude of the vector joining the initial and final positions, over the time taken.

What you normally refer to as average velocity, is actually average speed. Velocity, is a vector, speed is a scalar. I think that's it.
 

What is average velocity with respect to distance?

Average velocity with respect to distance is a measure of the overall change in position of an object over a given distance, taking into account both the magnitude and direction of the movement. It is calculated by dividing the total displacement of the object by the total distance traveled.

How is average velocity with respect to distance different from average speed?

Average velocity with respect to distance and average speed are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two different measurements. Average speed only takes into account the distance traveled and does not consider the direction of movement, while average velocity also takes into account the direction of movement.

What are some real-life applications of average velocity with respect to distance?

Average velocity with respect to distance is used in many areas of science, including physics, engineering, and astronomy. Some examples of real-life applications include calculating the average speed of a moving car, determining the velocity of a rocket in flight, and measuring the speed and direction of ocean currents.

How is average velocity with respect to distance calculated?

To calculate average velocity with respect to distance, the total displacement of an object is divided by the total distance traveled. Displacement is the change in position of an object, while distance is the total length of the path traveled by the object. The resulting value is typically expressed in units of distance per time (e.g. meters per second).

What are the limitations of using average velocity with respect to distance?

While average velocity with respect to distance is a useful measurement, it does have some limitations. It assumes that the object is moving at a constant rate, and does not take into account any changes in speed or direction. It also does not provide information about the specific path an object takes, only the overall change in position. Additionally, it is not always an accurate representation of an object's true motion, especially when the object is moving in a non-linear path.

Similar threads

  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
967
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
8K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
4K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
957
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
11
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
4
Views
7K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
16
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
13K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
13
Views
2K
Back
Top