What is the formula for finding speed?


Quick Answer

The general formula for finding speed is x = d / t, where "x" denotes the speed, "d" indicates the distance traveled and "t" represents the time it takes to cover "d." Speed is a scalar quantity that is entirely defined by its magnitude without referencing its direction.

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Full Answer

In physics, mechanics is the field that deals with the motion of objects and the forces or energy that influence this movement. Mechanics is divided into two branches: kinematics and dynamics. Kinematics is merely concerned about the orientation and shifts in position of an object, while dynamics involves studying the sources that drive motion.

In kinematics, the two types of numerical quantities that describe motion are called scalar and vector. Scalar measurements are one-dimensional and only include the magnitude or size of the movement. Vectors are two-dimensional, and they include the quantity and the direction of travel.

Speed is a scalar quantity that refers to the rate of motion of an object. Its commonly used units of measurement are meters per second, centimeters per second and feet per second. In solving for speed, ordinary arithmetic may be used. Aside from speed, other examples of scalar quantities include time, temperature and energy.

Velocity, which is often confused with speed, is a vector quantity. It is calculated by finding the total displacement divided by the elapsed time. Other examples of vector measurements include acceleration, electric field and force.

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