Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Help me for Instantaneous Velocity

  1. Aug 23, 2004 #1
    can you explain me Instantaneous Velocity in simplest form?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The average velocity over a time interval is the distance traveled divided by the time interval. The instantaneous velocity is the limiting case, where the time interval approaches zero.
  4. Aug 24, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Instantaneous velocity can be thought of as "[the vector quantity with magnitude] what your speedometer reads right now, together with the direction your car is pointing".

    On a displacement-vs-time graph, you can visualize krab's definitions as
    • average-velocity="the slope of a line-segment with endpoints at the start and end of the time-interval of interest"
    • instantaneous-velocity="the slope of the tangent-line at the instant of interest"

    It's good to remember these prepositional phrases
    • average-velocity over a specific time-interval (you need to specify two times [better: two events])
    • instantaneous-velocity at a specific instant (you need to specify one time [better: one event])
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook