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.
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 is the width of the rectangle.
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.