Physics Review Question

Unit: MechanicsYear: 1994 Question#: 55
Question: A car is driven from Buffalo to Albany and on to New York City, as shown in the diagram below

Compared to the magnitude of the car's total displacement, the distance driven is.
(1 ) shorter
(2 ) longer
(3 ) the same

What is this question really asking?

Explanation by: Sarah C.

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Answer 1

This is incorrect because the total displacement between the three points is the length of a straignt line from the start point (Buffalo) to the final point (NYC). The distance on the other hand is the total length of the path, this is not shorter return to top

Answer 2

This is corrrect because the distance from Buffalo to Albany, then to NYC is about 7mm, whereas the displacement, from Buffalo to NYC is about 5mm. Therefore the distance is longer.
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Answer 3
the same


This is incorrect because the two measurments are not equal. The total length of the path traveled (distance) is longer than from the start point to finish point (displacement). return to top

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What's this question really asking?

This question is trying to see if you know the difference between distance and displacement. Distance is the total length traveled, and displacement is the measurement from the start point to the finish point. Also, you need to know how to find these values. return to top

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