Question Video: Determining the Displacement of a Stationary Object | Nagwa Question Video: Determining the Displacement of a Stationary Object | Nagwa

Question Video: Determining the Displacement of a Stationary Object Science • Third Year of Preparatory School

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An object does not move during a time interval. What must the displacement of the object in that time interval be?

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Video Transcript

An object does not move during a time interval. What must the displacement of the object in that time interval be? (A) The displacement could have any value. (B) The displacement must be zero.

In this question, we are asked to consider the displacement of an object that doesn’t move during a time interval. Recall that displacement is the shortest straight-line distance from an object’s starting point to its endpoint. So, if an object starts out at this position and ends up at this position, then this arrow represents its displacement. In this case, however, the object’s starting point is the same as its endpoint because the object doesn’t move at all. Since the end and start positions are, in fact, the same position, then there is no distance between the start point and endpoint. The displacement therefore has a magnitude of zero.

Recall that displacement is a vector quantity. That means it has a magnitude and also a direction. For a vector with a magnitude of zero, the direction is not a well-defined property. We would simply say, in this case, that the displacement is zero. We have found then that since the object didn’t move during the time interval and thus the endpoint is in exactly the same place as the start point that the displacement of the object is zero. Therefore, the correct answer is option (B). The displacement must be zero.

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