AQA GCSE Physics

Revision Notes

5.6.5 Velocity

Velocity

  • The velocity of a moving object is similar to its speed, except it also describes the object’s direction
    • The speed of an object only contains a magnitude – it’s a scalar quantity
    • The velocity of an object contains both magnitude and direction, e.g. ‘15 m/s south’ or ‘250 mph on a bearing of 030°’
  • Velocity is therefore a vector quantity because it describes both magnitude and direction

Speed & Velocity, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notes

The cars in the diagram above have the same speed (a scalar quantity) but different velocities (a vector quantity). Fear not, they are in different lanes!

Author: Jonathan

Jonathan graduated with a first-class Master's degree in Theoretical Physics from Imperial College London. He has worked in education for more than a decade as a Maths and Physics Teacher, Tutor, Head of Physics, and most recently, as Assistant Headteacher. He is now an Educational Consultant and works with us to design and improve our Physics resources.
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