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CORC 1331 MAIN PAGE

PHYSICS TOPICS

Speed
Velocity
Acceleration
Constant Acceleration
Free Fall
Forces and Newton's Law
Kinetic Energy
Potential Energy

LIST OF EXAMPLES

CLASSIC PROBLEMS

Free Fall
Forces
Conservation of Energy
Conservation of Momentum

PHYSICS LINKS

Thinkquest Physics Library
Physics Zone
Multimedia Physics Studio

Velocity

The term velocity has almost the same meaning as speed except for one distinguishing feature: speed is referred to as a scalar quantity which means that it describes only magnitude (number) not direction. However, when physicists talk about velocity they are measuring two things, magnitude and direction, which give an idea of where an object is moving.

The following formula is used to calculate the average velocity of a moving object.


Example:

How to find the distance an airplane travels if you know its velocity and time

Problem:
An airplane flies 250 km/hr eastward for 3 hours.  What is the distance the airplane travels?

Airplane flying eastward

Solution:

Step 1:

In this problem we are given the direction of the airplane. Therefore in order to calculate the distance we need to use average velocity instead of average speed, and our formula would be the following:



average velocity = 250 km/hr, time = 3 hr

Step 2:

In order to calculate distance, multiply the average velocity by the elapsed time.

Answer: The airplane travels 750 km.