Algebra
Kinematics

# Can a speed of a body be negative?

###### Wiki User

The 'speed' of a body cannot be negative.

But if you are stating the 'velocity' then it can be negative. Negative velocity means

it is going opposite to the direction that you decided to call the positive direction.

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## Related Questions

when the acceleration of the body is positive its mean that its velocity is increasing and the speed of the motion also increases and speed will decrease when acceleration is negative.

No. The speed is the length of the velocity vector, and that is always zero or positive.

No. The magnitude of acceleration is the rate of change of speed. If speed is increasing, then its rate of change ... and therefor the magnitude of the acceleration ... is positive.

The problem here is the conflating of the term "speed" with "velocity". Velocity is a vector - it has both intensity and direction. Velocity can be negative. Speed really only has magnitude, so it is normally only positive; since there is no direction associated you can't define a meaning for negative speed (unless you decide to define it as synonymous with velocity) When a body is thrown in upward direction and upward motion is defined as positive velocity, its velocity decreases with time and at highest point speed and velocity become zero. When the body falls downward its speed i increases until hit the ground but since it is moving in the opposite of the direction that was defined as "positive", its velocity is negative.

No. "Speed" is a scalar quantity, without sign or direction. But "velocity" can, if the object is moving opposite to the direction that you defined as the positive direction.

Negative speed isn't possible, but negative velocity is.

see speed cannot de negative se speed = distance / time and neithr distance nor time can be negative they r always positive so speed cannot be negative but velocity can be negative

It can not be negative because time cannot be zero

retardation is nothing but the decrease in speed. so if the increase in speed can be taken as positive then for sure decrease in speed can be taken as negative acceleration.

speed is a scalar quantity with magnitude only but no direction; velocity is a vector with both magnitude (speed) AND direction, which could be positive or negative

Speed in science means vector (direction and velocity). Any force which lessens the vector can be considered negative speed. A spacecraft's retro rockets are a good example.

A negative slope represents deceleration, or negative acceleration.

No, Speed is always greater than or equal to zero. However, velocity can be negative, which just means you have a positive speed in the opposite direction! (scalar(number) versus vector).

Negative slope on a speed/time graph indicates decreasing speed. (Some call it "deceleration", although I wish they wouldn't.)

Speed is (distance covered in some time) / (time to cover the distance).Neither the distance covered in the time, nor the time duration, can be negative.If you'll say "Well what about moving backwards ?", then you have introduced the directionof motion into the discussion, and now you're talking about velocity, not speed. Velocity caneasily be negative, but speed can't.

no a body can only have positive velocity .sometimes it have negative acceleration

a body is accelerating if it is speeding up faster and faster. Acceleration is the change in velocity. or the change in speed. Slowing down is also acceleration but it is negative acceleration or de acceleration.

speed cannot as it is just a magnitude, however as velocity relates both magnitude and direction, and direction can be negative, technically you can have a negative velocity.

Yes, for example : a car going in a backwards out of a driveway has negative acceleration while the speed is increasing

Acceleration is any change in velocity. Negative acceleration is when the change is such that the speed decreases.

Acceleration is change in velocity. It is a vector, so some direction is choosen as positive and the opposite direction as negative. Then you have two possibilities;(1) the object is increasing its speed in the negative direction. (2) the object is decreasing its speed in the positive direction. Both of these give negative acceleration. For example; if up is choosen as positive then acceleration due to gravity is always negative because when a projectile is projected up with some initial velocity it decreases its speed on the way up. But on the way down its increasing its speed, in the negative direction.

The negative part in negative acceleration is indicating direction, as acceleration is a vector quantity. Speed however, is a scalar and has magnitude only and therefore cannot be negative. An example could be -2.6ms-2 meaning that there is an acceleration of 2.6ms-2 but in the opposite direction to other vectors.

When the molecules in a body move with increased speed, it's possible that the body will change from a

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