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Homework Help: Kinematics problem-finding total distance

  1. May 7, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A particle moving at 5 m/s reverses its direction in 1 s to move at 5 m/s in the opposite direction. If its acceleration is constant, what distance does it travel?

    A) 1.25 m

    B) 2.5 m

    C) 5 m

    D) 10 m

    2. Relevant equations
    d = 1/2 (v0 + v)t

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Since we need to find d:
    d = 1/2 (5 + (-5+)(1)

    d = 0

    This clearly was off...I was going to see if someone would be able to help me understand this problem better.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2014 #2
    You're right. May be they want the total distance traveled instead of the displacement that you correctly calculated.
  4. May 7, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Yes, distance is a scalar, so generally it means ##\int|\vec v|.dt##. Displacement is a vector, ##\int\vec v.dt##
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