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#1 2006-03-03 10:17:25

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

velocity isn't speed?

Today my book asked for the average velocity of a function AND the average speed of a function. Huh? I thought velocity and speed were the same thing and would have bet my life on it!

Somebody please explain this madness.


A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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#2 2006-03-03 10:23:19

Patrick
Real Member
Registered: 2006-02-24
Posts: 1,005

Re: velocity isn't speed?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velocity

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/speed

Havn't really had any of this yet, but you might find the answers there..
As far as I understand, velocity is a vector and speed is not..


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#3 2006-03-03 10:30:26

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

Re: velocity isn't speed?

OOoooh... I think I got it. speed = |velocity|


A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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#4 2006-03-03 11:27:42

mathsyperson
Moderator
Registered: 2005-06-22
Posts: 4,900

Re: velocity isn't speed?

Yep, that's precisely it. With velocity, direction is important, but with speed it is not.

If you ran around in circles, your speed would be constant, but your velocity would be constantly changing. Your average velocity would be zero!


Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.

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#5 2006-03-03 12:00:32

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: velocity isn't speed?

If you ran around in circles, your speed would be constant, but your velocity would be constantly changing. Your average velocity would be zero!

And so would your IQ.

Take that, track team.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#6 2006-03-03 12:38:53

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

Re: velocity isn't speed?

here here, ricky!


A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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