Physics (NTSE/Olympiad)  

1. Motion

Distance & Displacement

(i) Distance & Displacement
The path length between the initial and final positions of the particle gives the distance covered by the particle.
The minimum distance between the initial and final positions of a body during that time interval is called displacement.
Distance and displacement both are measured in meter in m.k.s. system.
Difference between distance and displacement
Distance travelled is a scalar quantity while displacement is a vector quantity.
When a body continuously moves in the same straight line and in the same direction then displacement will be equal to the distance travelled. But if the body changes its direction while moving, then the displacement is smaller than the distance travelled.
Displacement ≤ Distance
Displacement in any interval of time may be zero, positive or negative where as distance cannot be negative..

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