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What is the difference between distance and displacement?

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What is the difference between distance and displacement?
posted Dec 8, 2016 by anonymous

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1 Answer

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Distance is a scalar quantity that refers to "how much ground an object has covered" during its motion. Displacement is a vector quantity that refers to "how far out of place an object is"; it is the object's overall change in position.

Example
To test our understanding consider the motion where we walk 4 meters East followed by 2 meters South followed 4 meters West, and finally 2 meters North. In this case even though we walked a total distance of 12 meters but our displacement is 0 meters.

answer Dec 8, 2016 by Salil Agrawal
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