Distance is the actual path length travelled by an object in the given interval of time during the motion.

**DISTANCE AND DISPLACEMENT**

**Distance **is the actual path length travelled** **by an object in the given interval of
time during the motion. It is a positive scalar quantity.

**Displacement **is the difference between** **the final and initial positions of the
object in a given interval of time. It can also be defined as the shortest
distance between these two positions of the object and its direction is from
the initial to final position of the object, during the given interval of time**.** It is a vector quantity**.** Figure 2.26 illustrates the
difference between displacement and distance.

In
terms of position vector, the displacement vector is given as follows. Let us
consider a particle moving from a point P_{1} having position vector

This
displacement is also shown in Figure 2.27.

Assume your school is located 2 km away from your home. In the morning you are going to school and in the evening you come back home. In this entire trip what is the distance travelled and the displacement covered?

The displacement covered is zero. It is because your initial and final positions are the same.

But the distance travelled is 4 km.

An athlete covers 3 rounds on a circular track of radius 50 m. Calculate the total distance and displacement travelled by him.

The total distance the athlete covered =3x circumference of track

The displacement is zero, since the athlete reaches the same point A after three rounds from where he started.

Calculate the displacement vector for a particle moving from a point P to Q as shown below. Calculate the magnitude of displacement.

Tags : Cartesian Coordinate System, Solved Example Problems , 11th Physics : UNIT 2 : Kinematics

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11th Physics : UNIT 2 : Kinematics : Distance and Displacement | Cartesian Coordinate System, Solved Example Problems

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