Question Video: Calculating Average Westward Velocity

What is the average westward velocity of an object that moves 11 m to the west in a time of 0.25 s?

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Video Transcript

What is the average westward velocity of an object that moves 11 meters to the west in a time of 0.25 seconds?

Okay, so this is a question about velocity. And we’re told that we have an object that moves 11 meters in the west direction in a time of 0.25 seconds. The question is asking us to work out the average westward velocity of this object. If we have our four compass directions like this, then we can draw the motion of our object showing that it gets displaced by 11 meters in the west direction between its start position and its end position.

We should recall that the velocity of an object is equal to the displacement of that object divided by the time taken for that displacement to occur. Since velocity is a vector quantity, it has a direction as well as a magnitude. We know that our object undergoes a displacement of 11 meters to the west in a time of 0.25 seconds. Substituting these values into our equation for velocity gives us that the velocity of our object is equal to 11 meters divided by 0.25 seconds. And since our displacement was to the west, then our velocity will also be to the west.

Doing the calculation gives us a result of 44 meters per second. So the average velocity of our object is 44 meters per second to the west. But in this case, the question isn’t actually asking us for the average velocity, but rather for the average westward velocity. This means that we don’t actually need to include this bit, which says that the velocity is to the west, since that’s already implicit in the term westward velocity. So our answer to the question is that the average westward velocity of the object is equal to 44 meters per second.

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