The basic differences between speed and velocity can be found in the definitions of each term. The former refers to the amount of distance an object has traveled in a given period of time while the latter describes the rate at which an object changes position in a particular direction. The differences between speed and velocity also include their sign and magnitude. While they may seem like two similar concepts, the differences are actually quite subtle. Let’s look at some of them.

**Average speed is the distance covered by a body in a unit of time**

The average speed of a body is its rate of change of distance over a specific period of time. In a nutshell, the average speed is the total distance traveled by a body in a given interval of time. The unit of measurement for the average speed is meters per second. The formula for calculating the average speed of a body is S = d/t, where d is the total distance traveled and t is the total time.

**Instantaneous velocity is the rate at which an object changes position in a certain direction**

In physics, the instantaneous velocity is the rate at which a particular object changes position over a short period of time. It is also referred to as speed. It is the speed of an object at a specific time and is measured in the SI unit of m/s. A car’s speedometer needle changes position every hour. In the same way, the instantaneous velocity of a car is the speed at which it changes direction during a period of time.

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**Speed is a scalar value**

A speed is a rate at which an object moves over time. This is called a vector quantity. It is also called velocity. Speed and velocity are similar in that they both measure the same quantity. However, there are differences between the two. A scalar value measures only how far an object moves in a given amount of time, whereas a vector measure also considers direction. In most cases, you can calculate the speed by looking at the acceleration of an object.

**Velocity is a vector quantity**

What is the difference between speed and velocity? Despite their similarities, speed and velocity have some differences as well. For example, velocity is a vector quantity, while speed is a scalar quantity. For example, a box moving five meters to the east has a direction, while a box moving five meters to the right has a direction. A vector quantity is a force, while a scalar quantity is a displacement.

**Objects move in one direction**

If an object moves at speed, it will move in one direction, regardless of the force exerted on it. The magnitude of the velocity will remain constant, while the acceleration will change depending on the forces acting on the object. The net force and acceleration are zero in the case of an object moving at a constant speed. But the speed of an object will change if the force acting on it is not the same as the acceleration on the object.

**Average speed is a scalar value**

The average speed of a moving object is the total distance traveled over a certain period of time. It is a scalar quantity because it is not directionless. It is calculated by dividing the total distance traveled by the time taken. For example, a 100-meter radius-traveling boy will have an average speed of 10 km/h, or around 8 mph. The distance traveled will be multiplied by the time to find the average speed.

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**Average velocity is a vector quantity**

Distance and displacement are two of the most important factors affecting velocity. Using both of them can help you calculate the speed of a moving object. Distance is the total path length traveled by a moving object. The velocity of a moving object depends on its displacement, which is the total amount of ground it covers. Another factor is time. The average velocity of an object depends on the distance traveled and the time taken to displace it. The direction of a displacement vector depends on the direction of the starting and ending points.

**Frequently Asked Questions**

### What are the five differences between speed and velocity?

Five major difference between speed and velocity are as follow:

• *Definition*

• *Type of quantity*

• *Magnitude*

• *Change of direction*

• *Interrelation*