What is the Difference Between Speed And Velocity?

"Speed versus Velocity: What makes them different?"


speed and velocity

Speed and Velocity are the most commonly used terms and also the most common question which comes in exams. We use these terms many times in our daily routine and hardly make a difference in it, but when it comes to differentiating between Speed and Velocity in Physics and Mathematics then we get to know that these are different terms. In this article, we will discuss what is the difference between speed and velocity?

Q. What is Speed?

Speed can be defined and the distance traveled by an object per unit time or we can also define as the rate of change of position of an object in any direction. Speed is a scalar quantity it has no magnitude only direction. If the object is moving faster the speed is high if the object is moving slowly then the speed is slow. We can calculate the speed with the below-mentioned formula:


s: Speed
t: Time

Units of Speed:

The SI units of speed are m/s (meters per second). If we talk about calculation on speed in our daily life then we generally use Km/h (Kilometer per hour) and at sea, knots (nautical miles).Speed

Q. What is Velocity?

Velocity can be defined as a measure that how fast an object is moving in a particular direction or we can also define velocity as the rate of change of an object’s position concerning a frame of reference and time. The velocity of an object gives us an idea that how slow or fast the object is moving.

The velocity is a vector quantity and it can be zero. We can calculate the Velocity with the below-mentioned formula:


v: Velocity
s: Displacement(distance traveled)
t: Time

Units of Velocity:

The SI units of speed are m/s (meters per second).Velocity

Difference between Speed and Velocity:


  • Speed is a Scalar quantity.
  • Speed cannot be zero or negative.
  • Speed may or may not be equal to the velocity
  • The SI unit of speed is m/s.
  • Speed can be measured as S=d/t. Speed = Distance/Time.

Even if the object changes the direction the average speed will continue to count.

Example: If a car is moving from 60m/s it would go from 0m/s to 50 m/s before reaching 60 m/s and it can also reach 100 m/s. The average speed will be the speed of the car.


  • Velocity is a vector quantity.
  • Velocity can be zero, positive or negative.
  • An object may be posses different velocities but the same speed.
  • The SI units of velocity are m/s (meters per second).
  • Velocity can be measured as v=s/t  Velocity=Displacement/Time.

The object must follow one direction because the velocity of an object gets changes with change in direction.

Example: A bike going towards the north with an average speed of 40 km/h will have the velocity of 50km/h, south. An object going straight in a particular direction is considered to have velocity.


“Here in the above article, we have tried to clarify the basic difference between speed and velocity. We just hope from this article you can clarify the basic doubts between speed and velocity and also, get to know how they are different from each other and how we can measure both terms by applying the formula’s.”

 (Also Read: What’s The Difference Between Mass And Weight?)

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