Speed / Velocity Problems!  Whoo Hoo!

Basic Formula: V(s) = d / t ** This should make sense, think about what we measure car speed in: mi/hr.  a distance over a time.
V = velocity d =distance t = time
Units: Velocity will always be a distance unit over a time unit.  (mi/hr) (m/sec) (km/hr)
Distance units:  m (meters) km (kilometers)  
Time units: min (minute), sec (second), hr (hours)


These problems are not really very hard to solve as long as you match the given numbers (usually using their units) with the formula above.  You can also use the triangle method.  The triangle is an easy way to figure out how to manipulate the formula.  In order to use it, look at the triangle.  Put your finger over the variable or letter you need to solve for.  For example, if you are looking for the speed or velocity, you will cover up the letter V.  Now you do the mathematical function it shows.  If the letters are beside each other, you multiply.  If one is on top of the other, you divide.  If you would like to check out some sample problems, click on this link:  <speed sample problems>
The triangle:

You can see that if you were trying to solve for Speed.  Then the D (m, Km) would be over the T (sec, min., hrs), so you would divide the distance traveled by the time it took.  Similarly, if you wanted to solve for the time (sec, min. hr) it took, then the distance (m, km) would be divided by the speed (m/s, km/hr) since the distance is on the top. If you wanted to solve for distance (m, km) , then the velocity (m/s, km/ hr) would be located beside the time (sec, min, hr), so you would multiply them together. 

(Units are included in italics in the parenthesis)



Last Updated: April 8, 2005.  All Rights Reserved.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact the IPCWebmaster. test