What Is the Scientific Definition of Velocity?

scientific-definition-velocity Credit: Hans Neleman/Taxi/Getty Images

Velocity is a measure of the displacement of an object divided by the time it took to travel that distance. Velocity is commonly measured in meters per second, though other units can be used.

The equation for velocity is usually written as v = d/t, where v represents velocity, d represents distance and t represents time. Velocity is a vector quantity, which means it implies direction. For velocity to be measured, net displacement must occur. If an object ends at the same location it began, it has zero velocity, no matter how much distance it traveled. This differentiates velocity from speed, which measures distance traveled rather than net displacement.