What Is the Linear Speed Formula?

In physics, the formula to determine linear speed is expressed as v = s/t. This formula tells users an object's average or non-accelerated linear speed, or velocity. It does this by dividing the total linear distance traveled by the time it takes to travel that distance.

In order to complete the linear speed formula, users must know two of its variables (v, s and t). These stand for:

  • Velocity (v), expressed in meters per second (m/s) or feet per second (f/s)
  • Total linear distance traveled (s), expressed in either meters (m) or feet (f)
  • Time (t), expressed in seconds (s)

One of several Equations of Motion used in mathematical physics, v = s/t calculates constant or average velocity only. It is still, however, an important base formula which helps users understand other mechanical properties of motion such as acceleration and rotational or angular speed. It is also possible to use the linear speed formula to derive additional information and write additional formulas based on the other variables.

For example, using the linear speed formula, it is possible to calculate total linear distance traveled (s) if velocity and time are known. However, it is easier to do so with a separate, derived formula called the formula for non-accelerated motion. This other base Formula of Motion is s = vt.