Difference Between Speed and Velocity (With Table)

In today’s life, we relate speed to the rate at which something moves. To better understand, the internet ‘speed’, vehicular ‘speed’ etc. this is the common understanding of speed and is often confused with Velocity.

<span class=\"

  1. The most significant distinction is that speed is a resultant of only distance and time, which includes only magnitude whereas velocity is a resultant of displacement and time, which includes both magnitude and direction.
  2. Due to this major difference, another significant difference arises, which says that due to the inclusion of only magnitude in speed, it is a scalar quantity and since velocity includes both speed and direction, it is said to be a vector quantity.
  3. Moreover, due to these very reasons, we can confidently say that speed can never be negative whereas velocity can be negative.
  4. Furthermore, these differences also portray that speed indicates only the rapidness of an object. On the contrary, velocity indicates the rapidness along with its position or direction.
  5. As previously mentioned, speed is calculated as distance divided by the time period and velocity is calculated as displacement divided by the time period. The term distance only indicates magnitude whereas displacement indicates both magnitude and direction.



To say that speed and velocity are two sides of a coin would not be exactly wrong. To summarize, speed is a resultant of distance covered, i.e., magnitude and the time taken to cover that distance.

On the opposite hand, velocity is a result of displacement, i.e., a combination of magnitude and direction and the time taken for that displacement to occur.

The clearest and the most evident difference is the one previously mentioned which further categorizes them into scalar and vector quantities.