Displacement (distance)

From Academic Kids

In Newtonian mechanics, displacement is one of two subtly different quantities measuring distance.

Displacement compared with distance along a path
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Displacement compared with distance along a path

1. (a) Displacement is a vector quantity which expresses the length and direction of a straight line from one place to another (as opposed to the scalar quantity distance which expresses only the length). The SI unit for either distance or displacement is the metre.

2. (b) Displacement implies movement and is a vector quantity which expresses the distance (in a straight line) between the starting and finishing points.

The two meanings are not the same, as the table shows:

(a) (b)
Where are you? displacement Position
Where are you relative to the starting point? Change of displacement displacement (= change in position)
Velocity Rate of change of displacement Rate of displacement
ms:Sesaran

it:Spostamento (fisica) zh:位移

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