The Difference Between

What is the difference between speed and velocity?


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Wiki User
March 14, 2018 5:50AM

The difference between speed and velocity is that velocity is speed with a direction vector associated with it. It's that direction vector that makes them different.

Speed is displacement (distance traveled) per unit time. Velocity is displacement (distance traveled) per unit time in a given direction. The "directionality" associated with velocity makes it a vector quantity, while speed is a scalar quantity.

The main difference between them in everyday life is that "speed" is usually used

properly, but "velocity" is usually used Improperly.

-- "30 miles per hour" is a speed

-- "30 miles per hour north" is a velocity

-- "30 miles per hour north" and "30 miles per hour west" are the same speed but different velocities.

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April 03, 2012 12:06PM

A velocity is a speed, including a specification of a direction. In physics, this is called a vector.