Velocity: Definition, Formula and Units

Velocity: Definition, Formula and Units

The rate of change in position of an object (displacement) with respect to time and frame of reference. Further, the key elements of the velocity are distance and displacement. If there is no displacement in the object and it does not cover any distance, there will be no velocity. Velocity is a vector quantity because it has a vector function of displacement.

Velocity formula

Velocity is directly proportional to displacement and inversely proportional to time. Velocity formula is given below:

Velocity = Displacement / Time

Where  displacement is the change in an object’s position. (Final position – Initial position)


time is taken to cover the distance

If X1 is the initial position while X2 is the final position of the object and time taken to cover this distance is t then velocity will be:

Velocity = (Final position – Initial position) / Time

v = (X2 – X1)/ t

v = △x/△t

Other formulas of velocity are:

Angular velocity, ω = θ/t

Average velocity, v = △x/△t

Linear velocity, v = s/t

Escape velocity, v= √2GM/r, where G is gravitational constant equal to 6.674 ×10-11Nm2/kg2

SI units of velocity are meter per second ( ms-1 ) and its dimensions are [ LT-1]

Read Also: 0x0 0x0 Error Solution In Simple Steps

Speed vs Velocity

DefinitionSpeed is the rate at which a distance is covered by the objectVelocity is the rate of change of displacement
Physical quantity Scalar quantity Vector quantity
DescribesTells distance without any directionDescribes distance with proper direction
Value Speed of any moving object cannot be negative or zero Velocity of a moving object may be equal to zero


A bullet train has covered a distance of about 1Km in 1 hour. Calculate its velocity


Distance covered = 1Km = 100 meters

Time = 1hr = 3600s

To calculate:

Velocity (v) = ?


v = s/t

= 1000/3600

= 0.28 ms-1

So the velocity of a bullet train is about 0.28 meters per second.

Read Also: How Fast Does A Plane Fly?

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