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Question

Alex walks along a curved path and takes several turns while walking from home to school. How can you best describe his displacement?


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Solution

Displacement:

  1. Displacement may be defined as a change in an object's position.
  2. Displacement is a vector quantity as it has both, magnitude as well as direction.
  3. It is usually represented by an arrow pointing from the starting point to the ending point.
  4. For instance, if an object moves from point A to point B, the object's position changes.
  5. Displacement is a term that is used to describe a change in the position of an object.
  6. We can use the following equation to define it mathematically:
    x=xf-xi, where xf=Final position, xi=initial position, x=change in position.
  7. As we know already, displacement is a vector quantity.
  8. It means this has a direction as well as a magnitude and is represented as an arrow pointing from the starting point to the ending point.
  9. So, to define displacement we need the distance traveled and the direction but in the above question it is not provided thus, we can’t describe his displacement.

Hence, to define Alex's displacement we need both: the distance traveled and the direction.


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