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velocity is defined as the speed at

which an object travels in a given

direction

the right formula to use for calculating

velocity depends on a few different

factors

such as whether the object is

accelerating at a constant rate or

whether it is moving in a circle as

opposed to a line

the most basic formula for calculating

velocity is velocity v equals distance

d over time

t

if you don't already know the time and

distance

you'll need to calculate them first

subtract the initial position

from the final position to find distance

and subtract the start time from the end

time to find the time

for instance

if a runner began sprinting due east at

the 22 meter mark along a track and

ended up at the 52 meter mark

you'd subtract

22 from 52 to find the distance

or displacement of 30 meters

similarly if they began their sprint at

5 35 01 pm

and ended it

at 5 35 06 pm

you can find the time by subtracting 1

from 6 giving you 5 seconds

this will tell you that they ran 30

meters in 5 seconds

which means that they maintained an

average velocity of 6 meters per second

east

if you're finding the velocity of an

object that's accelerating instead of

moving at a constant rate

things get a little more complicated

if you know the acceleration rate of the

object

you can find the final velocity using

the formula

vf

final velocity

equals v1

initial velocity

plus

at

acceleration times time

for example

if an object accelerated north at a rate

of 5 meters per second per second

over 5 seconds

and had a starting velocity of 6 meters

per second

its final velocity would be 6 meters per

second plus

5 meters per second per second times

5 seconds

or

31 meters per second north

once you know both the final and initial

velocity you can calculate the average

velocity of an accelerating object

to do this

add initial velocity to final velocity

and divide the result by two

in this case

six meters per second

plus 30 meters per second

divided by 2 equals 18 meters per second

north

the method for finding the velocity of

an object around a circle is a little

different

to do this

use the formula v velocity

equals 2 pi r the circumference of the

circle

over t

time for example

an object that moves around a circle

with a radius of 50 meters in 13 seconds

would have a velocity of 2 pi

50 meters over 13 seconds or

approximately

24.17

meters per second