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Main Kinematics & Dynamics Speed & Velocity Lesson I.4.3 Unit I:Kinematics & Dynamics

Velocity versus Time Graphs - Lesson I.4.3

Key Terms:

Graphing | Velocity | Displacement | IL, NUM, CCT

A velocity versus time graph will allow you to determine velocity, acceleration and displacement. In this lesson we will concentrate on determining displacement.

If a vehicle was moving at 30 m/s [W] for 20 s we could construct the following velocity versus time graph.

Velocity versus Time

Our vehicle was moving with a constant motion or uniform velocity. We can calculate its displacement by


Looking at the graph you should notice that t is the length of the rectangle formed by the axis and the graph line and that velocity is the width of the rectangle.

Area under a VT graph

When you multiply L x W of a rectangle you are really determining its area. After many such trials were carried out, a general statement was made:

The area under a velocity versus time graph is equivalent to the displacement of the object during the time interval.

The area under the graph may be a rectangle, triangle or any combination there of.



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