Lesson 4, Topic 4
In Progress

What is the difference between Distance & Displacement?

Lesson Progress
0% Complete

The path length of the car between the initial (Ikoyi) and final position (Lekki) gives the distance covered by the car.

Distance is defined as the total length of the path traveled from one location to another.

Distance traveled by the car = 200m + 500m + 600m + 250m = 1550m

The minimum distance between the initial and final positions of a body during the time interval is called displacement.

Displacement is the distance traveled or covered by an object in a specific direction.

It is the distance travelled by an object from its initial position to its final position in a straight line

For the car travelling from Ikoyi to Lekki, the displacement is determined by measuring the length of the straight line connecting Lagos to Lekki in the direction of Lekki from Ikoyi.

Using Pythagoras Theorem,

= $$\scriptsize d^2 = a^2 + b^2$$

= $$\scriptsize Displacement^2 = 800^2 + 750^2$$

Displacement = $$\scriptsize \sqrt{800^2 + 750^2}$$

= $$\scriptsize \sqrt{1202500}$$

= $$\scriptsize 1096.6m$$

Its direction is given by $$\scriptsize tan \theta = \normalsize \frac{opp}{adj}$$

:- $$\scriptsize tan \theta \\ = \frac{750}{800} \\ = \frac{10}{12}$$

tan Î¸ = 0.9375

Î¸ = tan-1(0.9375) = 45Â°

Its direction is South – West of Ikoyi (or South West 45Âº West of Ikoyi)

Distance and Displacement are both measured in meters