Displacement, time and average velocity

  1. 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    In an experiment, a shearwater (seabird) was taken from its nest, flown 5150km away, and released. It found its way back to its nest 12.5 days after it was released. If we place the origin at the nest and extend the +x-axis to the release point what was the bird's average velocity for a.) The return flight? b.) the whole episode, from leaving the nest to returning?

    2. Relevant equations
    [tex] V_{ave} = \frac{\delta{d}}{\delta{t}} [/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution
    t = 12.5 days (24 hrs/ 1day) = 300hr
    a.) 5150 km / 300hr = 17.2 km /hr

    b.) I think the answer is zero
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. HallsofIvy

    HallsofIvy 40,297
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Yes, that is correct. Since the problem asked for "velocity" rather than "speed", to find the average velocity for the entire trip, you use the same starting and ending point- the net distance is 0.
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