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Q & A: distance and velocity

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
I wanted to ask you about a very general thing. in a speed time graph they say that the area under the graph is the distance.. can the distance be taken out by s=vt instead? of what if there is a curved line?(taking the graph to have a / sort of line.. can we still use.. the triangle area formula?
- Aliyah (age 12)
pakistan
A:
The simple formula s=vt will work IF v isn't changing. If v changes, you need to use something harder. If v increases or decrease at a fixed rate, you can pick v right in the middle of the time, the average v, and use it in s=vt. If v changes in some general, messy curvy way, you have to take the area under the curve.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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