We will learn about distance and displacement using real-life examples.
Look at the image carefully.
In which path the leaf will reach the ground first?
Path A or path B?
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We will discuss one more example. Consider Arun and Rajesh are classmates at the same high school. They go to the nearby playground after school, play games, and then return home. Arun once stated that he would visit his grandmother's house before going to the playground. The route he took to get to the playground is depicted here.
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Take a measuring tape and measure the length of the two paths (A & B). Which is the longest path among the two?
From the preceding examples, we can deduce that an object would reach its destination faster, if it follows a straight-line path. The shortest distance between two points is a straight-line path. Therefore, path B is the longest path.
The total length of a path taken by an object to reach one place from the other is called distance.
The shortest distance from the initial to the final position of an object is called displacement.
The unit for both distance and displacement is the same. The SI unit is \(meter\) (\(m\)).
The below figure shows the different paths of a person who travels from point A to point B. Find the displacement.
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In the first path, he travels \(10\) kilometres. Then, he travels \(7\) kilometres on the second path. The first path connects \(A\) and \(B\) at a distance of \(10\) kilometres. The second path is \(7\) kilometres long. The shortest distance between the two points is \(5\) kilometres or \(2\) miles. As a result, the displacement is \(5\) kilometres (Towards the east).