I have a group of questions requarding magnitude of displacement and total distance traveled. What is magnitude measured in? Is is unitless? If the magnitude is 1 then in one second is the distance traveled 1? Can the Magnitude of the displacement be greater than the total distance traveled? and can displacement and total distance traveled be negative? Thanks
Magnitude of displacement is distance, with a unit of meters. It still has a unit of meters but it does not have a direction. If the magnitude is 1, this does NOT mean that in one second the distance traveled is 1. You are thinking about speed of 1m/s. No, the magnitude of displacement cannot be grater than distance traveled, only equal at maximum. It can be less than though. Displacement can be negative, distance traveled cannot. The reason displacement could is because it depends on direction as well. If you take north to be positive displacement, then moving south would be negative. Regards, Nenad