relation of distance to displacement:
- Distanceis a scalar measure of the interval between two locations measured along the actual path connecting them.
- As a scalar it has magnitude only.
- Δs(italic) is the symbol for distance.
- Displacementis a vector measure of the interval between two locations measured along the shortest path connecting them.
- As a vector it must be stated with both magnitude and direction.
- Δs(boldface) is the symbol for displacement.
- The origin of the symbols for distance (Δs) and displacement (Δs) is spatium, Latin for space.
- The relation of distance to displacement
- The distance traveled to get from one location to another is always greater than or equal to the magnitude of the displacement between the two locations.
Δs ≥ |Δs|
- Distance approaches the magnitude of displacement as distance approaches zero.
Δs → 0
Δs → |Δs|
- The SI unit of distance and displacement is the meter[m].