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Displacement (vector)

    In Newtonian mechanics '''displacement''' is one of two subtly different quantities measuring distance and direction
    along a path
    (a) Displacement in the sense of position vector is a vector quantity which expresses position by the length and direction of a straight line from one place to another (as opposed to the scalar quantity distance which expresses only the length) The SI unit for either distance or displacement is the metre
    (b) Displacement in the sense of movement is a vector quantity which expresses the distance and direction (in a straight line) from the starting to the finishing point
    The two meanings are not the same as the table shows:
    (a)(b)
    Where are you? displacement Position
    Where are you relative to the starting point? Change of displacement displacement (= change in position)
    VelocityRate of change of displacement Rate of displacement

    By plotting the displacement (relative to the starting point) against time on a position vs. graph] the average velocity or the instantaneous velocity can be found by taking the slope of the graph or the derivative of the graph respectively