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Forces and motion
Physics is an interesting way of looking at things. Here we look at how physicists look at common concepts to do with distance and time.
Lets start with the units: in Physics, the standard (SI) units of:
Are you going anyhwhere? Distance and displacement
Distance is how far we have travelled. It doesn't matter where you end up but its the sum total of the metres (or other units) that you have covered.
Displacement: Displacement is distance travelled in a certain direction. With displacement, it matters where you end up. Displacement is simply summarised as the straight-line distance between the starting point and thefinishing point.
The diagram below illustrates the two.
Vector and scalar quantities
A vector quantity has both a magnitude (size) and a direction. Displacement is an example of a vector quantity. Other examples of vector quantities include:
A scalar quantity only has a size. Examples include: