Uploaded by Yahel Carolina Aragon Regalado

Displacement vs Distance problems

Displacement vs. Distance
As we discussed in class, distance and displacement are not the same thing. They
sound alike, but each has a specific meaning.
1. A runner starts at position 0, and moves in one direction to position 12m.
What is the distance traveled by the runner? What was the runner’s
2. The same runner then moves from position 12m to position 20m. Distance
traveled during this segment of the motion? Displacement?
3. Ok, so the runner then goes from 20m to 11m. Distance? Displacement?
As you can see, distance and displacement are not identical quantities. Keep
going with the exercises and you’ll see it even more clearly. Use sketches!
4. A car starting at position 16m travels out to position 67 and turns around and
speeds back to position 16. What distance was covered? What was the
displacement of the car?
5. What if an object traveled from position -6m to -1 m? Distance and
6. If an object placed at 5m undergoes a displacement of -12m, where does it end
7. starting at -7m a person walks in the negative direction for 8 m then turns
around and walks 20m in the positive direction. Where is his final position?
What was his overall displacement? How much distance did he travel?
8. We will soon define speed as the amount of distance traveled in a given time
period, and velocity as the amount of displacement in a given time period.
Below, discuss how these two quantities can be very different from each other in
certain situations. Also, can they ever have the same value? Provide support for
your answer in the form of an example.
(1. 12m,12m. 2. 8m, 8m, 3. 9m, -9m, 4. 102m, 0m, 5. 5m, 5m, 6. At -7m, 7. 5m,
+12m, 28m)