Speed vs Velocity: Difference & Examples

In summary, velocity is a vector quantity that includes both magnitude and direction, while speed is a scalar quantity that only indicates magnitude. An example of this difference can be seen in uniform circular motion, where the speed remains constant but the velocity changes as the object accelerates towards the center of the circle. This can also be observed in real life, such as when driving around a curve and feeling a force towards the outside despite maintaining a constant speed.
  • #1
blackice552
12
0
could someone please clarify th e difference between the 2 and maybe give me an example?
 
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  • #2
Velocity is a vector, so it has direction. Speed is the magnitude of velocity-- it doesn't have direction.

For example, if my velocity is -5 mph, I am traveling backwards with speed 5 mph.
 
  • #3
If you travel forward in a straight line at 5 mph and the turn around a corner at 5 mph and drives forward again at 5 mph... when turn around the corner your speed doesn't change, but your velocity does, because you change direction..
 
  • #4
sorry was gunna comment but was beaten to it
 
  • #5
blackice552 said:
could someone please clarify th e difference between the 2 and maybe give me an example?

A good example of the difference between speed and velocity can be found in uniform circular motion. Suppose that some object is moving in a circle around some central point at a specific speed. The speed does not change, but the velocity vector is always changing, indicating that the body is accelerating towards the center of the circle. If you get in a car and drive around a curve, you'll feel a force towards the outside of the curve, despite that your speed does not change (since you're accelerating towards the center of the curve). So you can see that the vector nature of velocity has observable physical effects.
 

1. What is the difference between speed and velocity?

Speed and velocity are often used interchangeably, but they actually have distinct meanings in the field of physics. Speed refers to how fast an object is moving, while velocity refers to both the speed and direction of motion.

2. Can an object have a constant speed but changing velocity?

Yes, an object can have a constant speed but changing velocity. This is because velocity takes into account the direction of motion, so if an object is moving at a constant speed but changes direction, its velocity will also change.

3. How are speed and velocity measured?

Speed is typically measured in units of distance per time, such as meters per second or miles per hour. Velocity is also measured in these units, but it also includes a directional component, such as north or east.

4. What are some real-world examples of speed and velocity?

Some examples of speed include a car driving at 60 miles per hour or a person running at 10 meters per second. Examples of velocity include a plane flying north at 500 miles per hour or a cyclist riding east at 20 kilometers per hour.

5. How do speed and velocity affect motion?

Speed and velocity are key factors in determining an object's motion. In general, an object with a higher speed or velocity will cover more distance in a shorter amount of time compared to an object with a lower speed or velocity. Additionally, changes in an object's speed or velocity can affect its acceleration, which is the rate at which its speed or velocity changes over time.

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