Frequently Asked Questions on Motion

An object has moved through a distance. Can it have zero displacement? If yes, support your answer with an example.

Yes, an object moving a certain distance can have zero total displacement. Displacement refers to the shortest distance between the initial and the final positions of the object. Even if an object moves through a considerable distance, if it eventually comes back to its initial position, the corresponding displacement of the object would be zero.

Under what condition(s) is the magnitude of the average velocity of an object equal to its average speed?

Since average speed is the total distance travelled in a time frame and velocity is the total displacement in the time frame, the magnitude of average velocity and average speed will be the same when the total distance travelled is equal to the displacement.

What does the odometer of an automobile measure?

The odometer measures the total distance travelled by automobile.

What does the path of an object look like when it is in uniform motion?

The path of an object in uniform motion is a straight line.

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