What is Displacement?
In physics, displacement is defined as a change in position. It is the measurement from Position A to Position B. It is a vector, meaning it has direction. One may misinterpret and believe that displacement and distance are the same, but they are not. Distance is simply the measurement from Point A to Point B, not in a particular direction. For example, distance may be 10 miles, but displacement would be 10 miles North.
Normally, one will misinterpret and state that displacement and distance are the same. However, distance is just simply the measurement from Point A to Point B, not with a certain distance. If one gets these mixed up, he or she will not be correct when trying to get the correct formula in order to solve for displacement.
As one takes a closer look at displacement, one will realize that the formula is not that intimidating. It can be broken down into parts in order to be calculated. First, you calculate initial velocity multiplied by time. After that, you multiply acceleration by time and multiply the solution by time. Then, you cut that solution in half. Finally, you add the first solution (initial velocity multiplied by time) and the final solution. When these two are added, the measurement is obtained. Afterward, the direction (North, South, East, or West) must be added to the number to have the final solution to the problem.
When beginning the process of displacement, one must always realize that displacement is one of the easier vectors. This will also help one with thinking of the formula as less intimidating.
Finding displacement may seem like a long process, but when taken step by step, it will seem much easier to follow through. When it is broken down into parts, the formula is ‘decoded’ and broken down into simple terms.