The average velocity of an object over a given period of time is found by dividing the distance it has traveled by the time elapsed. Because velocity refers to the rate at which an object changes position, it is a vector quantity and direction matters. This differentiates average velocity from average speed. The formula for average velocity is (the change in x) / (the change in t) or (x2-x1) / (t2-t1).
Letâs talk about Average Velocity. So whatâs the difference between speed and velocity? Well speed is distance over time 100 kilometers an hour, velocity is very similar 100 kilometers per hour but itâs in a specific direction, so 100 kilometers per hour east would be a given velocity okay? Well how do we solve a velocity problem? And how is it different than solving a speed problem?
Letâs look in an example. Letâs say I travel a hundred kilometers north in 2 hours then travel 60 kilometers east in 30 minutes, if this was a speed problem, I could just add those up and divide okay? But this is a velocity problem so I've got to solve that as two separate velocities cause they're not the same okay? So I say 150 kilometers in 2hours thatâs going to equal 75 kilometers an hour north okay? Then I have 60 kilometers east in 30 minutes, and if you look here Iâve got hours from my one velocity and minutes from my second. I donât want to have two separate units for that Iâm want to simplify that and just letâs just keep it hours okay? So instead of saying 60 kilometers in 30 minutes, letâs convert 30minutes into hours okay? So I'll say we got 60 kilometers in 0.5 hours thatâs going to equal 120 kilometers an hour and in this case thatâs east which is a separate velocity than our initial velocity so answer here we have 100, 75 kilometers an hour north and then 120 kilometers east and thatâs how we calculate average velocities.