Visual Encyclopedia

# Velocity

The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position with respect to a frame of reference, and is a function of time. Velocity is equivalent to a specification of its speed and direction of motion (e.g. to the north). Velocity is an important concept in kinematics, the branch of classical mechanics that describes the motion of bodies.

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Here's a video that describes speed, velocity, and acceleration. Speed and acceleration are similar to velocity which is why I thought it was important to find a video that included them as well.

Contributed by Sarah Potter

### What is Velocity?

As the Wikipedia entry above explains, velocity is the rate of change of the position of an object. What does that mean? Well, basically it means how far an object is going in a set amount of time. Velocity is measured in meters per second (m/s) and is also a vector quantity (meaning that it has a magnitude AND direction.) So, if a person is watching a car that is stationary (perpendicular from one side of the car) and the car moves in reverse, the velocity would generally be considered negative. However, this depends on the viewer's perspective. As an example, let's say that a car traveled 48 kilometers in 55 seconds. What is its velocity? First, let's convert 48 kilometers into meters. 48 km = 48,000 m Then, we would simply divide the distance the car traveled by the time it took to travel that far. 48,000m/55s = 872.727m/s (That's one fast car!)

Contributed by Sarah Potter

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