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Published byPierce Butler Modified over 5 years ago

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Intro to Physics Part 3: Distance and Displacement

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Framing Questions What is the difference between distance and displacement? What are the symbols for each of these? What are the formulas for finding each of these?

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Distance, In Distance measures the total length of a journey along every twist and turn of a path. If the path travelled is not straight, you have to measure each segment of the path and add them together. Distance is a scalar quantity, so we give: – A magnitude and unit – No direction The standard unit for measuring distance is m.

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Distance, in Symbols: – Distance = d – Initial distance (most times this is the origin) = d i – Final distance (end point – from origin) = d f Formula: – Example: – The car drive from my home to the school is 19.7km.

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Displacement, in Displacement describes how much an object’s position has changed. If an object ends up back where it started its displacement is zero, even if it traveled a long distance. Displacement is a vector quantity, so we give: – A magnitude and unit – A direction The standard unit for displacement is m.

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Displacement, in Symbols: – Displacement = – Initial displacement (from starting point) = – Final displacement (from starting point) = – Always measure displacement from the final point in a straight line back to the starting point. Formula: Example: – When I drove my car to school from my house, it was displaced a total of 13km N45°W

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Practice Problems

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Time Intervals Calculating the time interval is similar to calculating displacement. Find the initial time: t i Find the final time: t f The change in time is :

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