0
$\begingroup$

How far will a person travel in 15 min, driving their car down the highway at 24 m/s?

when it says how far will a person travel, is it talking about distance or displacement?

$\endgroup$

2 Answers 2

1
$\begingroup$

The question is asking for the distance travelled. Without knowing more about the road (is it straight ? Does it twist and turn ?) you can’t say anything about displacement.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Distance is a scalar quantity. In your example, it equals how much road the car covers without any knowledge of the actual path the road takes. The distance traveled equals 24 m/s x 60 sec/min x 15 min.

Displacement is a vector quantity. In your example it would be a straight line directed from the starting location on the road to the ending location on the road. It is the distance "as the crow flies", which is an idiom for the most direct path between two points. That would be the displacement.

Your example problem only provides enough information to calculate the distance.

Hope this helps.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.