What is Speed? – Units, Types, Formula

Regardless of your profession, you may come across the phrase “speed” on a daily basis. So, in terms of physics, what does the term “speed” truly mean? Is it any different from the way you normally use it? In addition, what is the SI unit of speed? This article will assist you in answering any queries you may have about this subject. 

Define Speed

The distance traveled by a body per unit of time is defined as speed. 

What is Speed? - Units, Types, Formula

Types of Speed

Here are four types of speed, and they are: 

Uniform speed

A thing is considered to be at uniform speed when it travels the same distance in the same time intervals. 

Variable speed

In a variable speed, a thing travels a varying distance at equal intervals of time.  

Average speed

An average speed is obtained by dividing the entire distance traveled by a thing by the total time taken. 

Instantaneous speed

When an object moves at a variable pace, the speed of that thing at any given instant is referred to as instantaneous speed. 

Units of Speed

Every measurement requires a unit to be distinguished from the others. A single number phrase is confusing and might signify a thousand different things. As a result, speed also needs a fundamental unit that distinguishes it from other metrics. 

If you’re wondering what the fundamental unit of speed is, the answer is – 

The SI unit of speed is the meter per second. This speed measurement represents how many meters an object may travel in one second. Assume a body moves 10 meters per second. In that situation, the body’s speed is 10 meters per second. 

The SI unit of measurement for speed is m/s. 

Units of Speed in CGS

In the CGS unit, the meter will have to convert into cms. 

Therefore, the CGS expression of speed is cm s-1. 

Units of Speed in SI

The meter per second, or m/s or ms-1, is the SI unit of speed. 

Formula of Speed

The formula of speed in mathematical terms is calculated as

\(v= \frac{d}{t}\)

Where “V’ indicates speed, ‘d’ denotes distance, and ‘t’ stand for time. 

Speed also has a dimensional formula, which is \(M^{0} L^{1} T^{-2}\)

Measurement of Speed

Speedometers are used in automobiles to measure speed. Odometers are used to calculate the distance traveled. A graph can also be used to calculate speed. The Distance-time graph helps in understanding an object’s speed. 

  • Step 1: Position the constant velocity vehicle on a flat surface with lots of room in front of it. Mark the starting location of the automobile with duct tape, placing a piece just behind the back wheels. 
  • Step 2: Measure a few meters along the floor from the tape (the longer the better), and apply a second piece of duct tape. Note the overall distance. 
  • Step 3: Start the stopwatch and turn on the motorized car. Position it in front of the starting tape and release it. 
  • Step 4: When the stopwatch reaches the second piece of tape, stop it and record the time in a data table that looks like this: 
  • Step 5: Perform the experiment at least five times, keeping track of all trials. 
  • Step 6: Calculate the average of your five or more trials by adding the numbers and dividing by the number of trials performed. 
  • Step 7: Calculate your car’s speed by using the equation speed equals distance divided by time. 

Final Notes

Now that you know what is speed, you may explore our website to learn more about the fascinating aspects of speed and other related topics. 

Join now to enjoy the benefits of Tutoroot’s interactive and personalized learning experience. 

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