Math and Arithmetic
Physics
Kinematics

# Can the average velocity of a particle be zero but not its average speed?

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Yes, since velocity is speed and direction its average can be zero. For example say a plane flies from point A to point B at 300 mph and turns around to go from B to A at 300 mph; its average velocity is 0 since it is in the same spot as it started ( the velocity vectors cancel) but its average speed is 300 mph.

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Yes, consider a simple pendulum.

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## Related Questions  An object moving in a circular path at constant speed will have a non-zero average speed and zero average velocity since velocity is a vector parameter, If the car has an average speed of 65 mph, when it returns to its starting point, it will have a displacement of zero and an average velocity of zero, because velocity has both speed and direction. Yes. If the velocity doesn't change, there is zero acceleration. Yes, if it returns to its starting place, the average velocity for the cycle will be zero. The average SPEED, however, will not be zero. No. If the speed is always zero, then the average of its speed at any two points in time is also zero. Sounds like a trick question. The answer is no. Speed is a scalar with magnitude only and velocity is a vector with magnitude (speed) and direction. So If traveling with velocity in a straight line it has speed.. There are fundamental errors in the question. A particle is three dimentional and cannot exist in a one dimentional universe, nor can velocity. Since speed is a scalar quantity, the only way the average speed can be zero is if the instantaneous speed is at all times zero, making it not a moving body, so no on the average speed. The average velocity, on the other hand, can easily be zero. The simplest example is you running in a circle.  For example, an object goes in a circle, at a speed of 50 km/hour. The average speed is 50 km/hour; the average velocity is zero. Yes. it is possible to have average speed (even average velocity as vector, &lt;v&gt; ) to be zero. But the velocity in a given time is not zero. A famous example is electron in magnetic field. It has velocity but orbiting (classically), however it's average position is the same (quantum mechanically), so the electron stays there and do not go anywhere (no current). It is not possible because the average velocity is equal to the displacement in a given time interval, ie: V = (displacement) / (time interval) As the zero displacement average speed will also be zero. Velocity is speed together with its direction.Acceleration indicates a change in velocity ... speed or direction or both.Change of direction means acceleration, even if speed is constant.Constant velocity means constant speed and direction ... zero acceleration. Average velocity is zero if the displacement is zero. Average velocity = Displacement/Time = 0/Time = 0. Speed is the magnitude of distance travelled per unit time, whereas velocity depends on the magnitude of distance travelled as well as the direction of motion. Speed is a scalar quantity, velocity is a vector. Speed cannot be negative, velocity can be negative. Average speed of an object after travelling a certain distance is always non-zero, but for velocity the average velocity can be zero (this follows from the previous idea). No. Acceleration is the change of velocity. If velocity is constant, at any speed, acceleration is zero. Speed is distance by time and velocity is displacement by time. If an object is moving with speed distance can never be zero but displacement can. So we say velocity can be zero. It's not. If you speed is constant (but not zero), then your velocity won't be zero, either.You may be confusing this with the following: If your VELOCITY (not your speed) is constant, then your ACCELERATION is zero. Acceleration refers to how quickly velocity changes, so if velocity doesn't change at all, acceleration is zero.  All experimental observations until now are in unanimous agreement that such an event cannot occur. Within the limits of our ability to measure the relevant quantities to date, it appears to be impossible. Only for an instant. Acceleration is a change in velocity. When the derivative of acceleration with respect to time is zero, the velocity would be zero. The average velocity in a particular direction = distance travelled in that direction / time taken. Velocity is a vector so the direction is important. If I go from A to B and then return to A my average velocity will be zero. My speed, on the other hand, will not be zero. When an object is not moving. (Velocity is speed) yes.acceleration means change of velocity and not speed to be more precise.in a circular motion with constant speed the particle or the object constantly changes its direction.the direction of velocity is directed along the direction of the tangent at that point.although speed remains constant the velocity changes infinite number of times.so the particle is said to be accelerating.there is always instantaenous acceleration.but the average acceleration becomes zero after every round because velocity becomes the same after every round.

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