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Translatory Motion :: Distance Displacement : Magnitude, Direction

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... From Page 4

Translatory Motion

The motion of an object is said to be translatory if the position of the object is changing with respect to a fixed point or object. All the particles of a body excuting translatory motion move in the same direction traversing parallel paths.

The path traversed by the body in executing translatory motion may be either linear, circular, curve or any irregular shape. The motion will result in a change in location unless in the case where the body returns to its original location.

Distance Travelled/Covered

The distance travelled or covered by a body in motion is:
The length of the path traversed by the body

The statement "The distance covered by the car is 14 km makes complete sense".

Distance is a scalar quantity. It has only magnitude and no direction.

It is represented by the letter "s".

distance covered by a body travelling on a curved path
Eg: (1) The car in the above example traverses a path which goes up and down.
Distance covered (s) = AB + BC + CD

Units and Dimensions

Displacement

The displacement of a body is
“The change in the position of the body in a specific direction”
(Or)
"The distance between the initial and final locations of the body"

The path traversed by the body in moving from the initial location to the final location is immaterial in deciding the displacement.

The Displacement of the body is 5 km does not make complete sense as the doubt "in which direction?" remains unanswered. The statement "The body has been displaced by 12 km in the positive direction" makes complete sense.

Displacement is a vector quantity. It has both magnitude as well as direction.

It is represented by

s

[Read as "s bar"]
The bar over the displacement symbol is an indicationthat the physical quantity is directed. The actual direction of displacement may be anyway.

In quantitative terms, one of the directions is taken positive (+) and the other negative (−)

displacement of a body travelling on a curved path
Eg: (1) The car in the above example traverses a path which goes up and down.
Dispalcement of the car ⇒

s

=

–→

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Units and Dimensions

The units and dimensions of distance and displacement are the same.

Author Credit : The Edifier ... Continued Page 6

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