Question Video: Determining Differences in Average Speed | Nagwa Question Video: Determining Differences in Average Speed | Nagwa

Question Video: Determining Differences in Average Speed Science

The positions of two objects are shown at one-second time intervals. Which object has the greater difference between its greatest average speed over one second and its least average speed over one second?

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Video Transcript

The positions of two objects are shown at one-second time intervals. Which object has the greater difference between its greatest average speed over one second and its least average speed over one second?

Recall that speed is a relationship between time and distance. Since the time intervals for each object are the same, this question can be answered simply by observing the distance that each object travels in each time interval. Each dot or triangle in the first diagram shows where the object was at each second. Hence, the differences in speed are directly proportional to the distance traveled each second.

We are looking not just for the greatest distance traveled by each object, but the greatest difference between distances. To solve this problem for one object, look at the smallest distance traveled then the greatest distance traveled and find the difference then repeat this process for the second object. Whichever object has the greatest difference in distance traveled is the answer.

You might find it easier to visualize this problem by looking at the second diagram, where we represent each object as a dot labeled with the time the object was in that position. Object A appears to travel the greatest distance and therefore have its greatest speed between two to three seconds. It covers the least distance between zero and one and one and two seconds. See the difference in speeds in this image.

Repeating this process for object B, we see that it travels the greatest distance between one and two seconds. Similarly to object A, object B travels the least distance between zero and one second. See the difference in speeds in this image.

Finally, we can get our answer by comparing the differences in speeds, as in this image. We see that the difference between object A’s fastest and slowest speeds is greater than the difference between object B’s fastest and slowest speeds. So the answer is object A.

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