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Roderick Mason

What is the difference between constant, instantaneous, and average speed? constant speed is where the speed is the same throughout and instantaneous speed is speed given at any moment and average speed is a total distance traveled divided by the amount of time it took to travel it.

- What is constant speed?
- What is instantaneous speed?
- What is an example of instantaneous speed?
- Does constant speed mean no acceleration?
- How do you find constant speed?
- Does a car's speedometer show instantaneous speed?
- What is instantaneous power?
- What is the formula of instantaneous acceleration?
- What is average and instantaneous speed?
- What do you mean by instantaneous?
- Why is instantaneous speed important?

Definition: When the speed of an object remains the same - it does not increase or decrease - we say it is moving at a constant speed.

BSL Physics Glossary - instantaneous speed - definition

Definition: When the speed of an object is constantly changing, the instantaneous speed is the speed of an object at a particular moment (instant) in time. Example. Fingerspell.

Average Speed and Instantaneous Speed

At a given instant time what we read from the speedometer is instantaneous speed. For example, a car moving with a constant speed travels to another city, it must stop at red lights in the traffic, or it should slow down when unwanted situations occur in the road.

First, constant speed does not mean zero acceleration. An object could be going on a curved path at constant speed. The object has an acceleration. Zero acceleration means constant velocity.

If you are given a velocity graph and it is horizontal (blue and green lines below), then the velocity is constant. If the graph is anything but horizontal, then the velocity is not constant. If you are given an acceleration function or graph and it is zero (green line below), then the velocity is constant.

The speedometer of a car reveals information about the instantaneous speed of your car. It shows your speed at a particular instant in time. On the average, your car was moving with a speed of 25 miles per hour.

Instantaneous power is the power dissipated by the body at a given instant of time. Especially in devices where the current and voltage are not constant, like in case of AC devices, power dissipated can be calculated as a function of time as current and voltage changes with time.

The result is the derivative of the velocity function v(t), which is instantaneous acceleration and is expressed mathematically as. a(t)=ddtv(t). a ( t ) = d d t v ( t ) . Thus, similar to velocity being the derivative of the position function, instantaneous acceleration is the derivative of the velocity function.

Instantaneous speed is found by taking the absolute value of instantaneous velocity, and it is always positive. Average speed is total distance traveled divided by elapsed time.

1 : done, occurring, or acting without any perceptible duration of time death was instantaneous. 2 : done without any delay being purposely introduced took instantaneous corrective action. 3 : occurring or present at a particular instant instantaneous velocity.

The smaller the time interval in which you measure, the more information you have about your journey. But if your speed were constant, instantaneous speed would make no difference as it would be the same as the average speed at all times. You can think about it like pixels on a computer screen.

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