Explain the definition of slope and area in velocity vs. Time graphsSolve difficulties using velocity vs. Time graphs
Teacher Support

The learning objectives in this ar will help your students master the complying with standards:

(4)Science concepts. The student knows and applies the regulations governing motion in a range of situations. The student is expected to: (A) generate and interpret graphs and also charts explicate different species of motion, consisting of the usage of real-time modern technology such as motion detectors or photogates.
Teacher Support

Ask college student to usage their expertise of place graphs to construct velocity vs. Time graphs. Alternatively, provide an example of a velocity vs. Time graph and also ask college student what information can be derived from the graph. Ask—Is the the same information as in a place vs. Time graph? exactly how is the information portrayed differently? Is there any brand-new information in a velocity vs. Time graph?

Graphing Velocity as a role of Time

Earlier, us examined graphs of place versus time. Now, we space going to develop on that info as us look at graphs that velocity vs. Time. Velocity is the rate of adjust of displacement. Acceleration is the rate of readjust of velocity; us will discuss acceleration an ext in another chapter. These concepts are all really interrelated.

You are watching: What does the area under a velocity vs time graph represent

Maze Game

In this simulation girlfriend will use a vector diagram come manipulate a ball right into a specific location without hitting a wall. You have the right to manipulate the ball straight with place or by an altering its velocity. Check out how these factors change the motion. If you would like, you have the right to put that on the a setting, as well. This is acceleration, which procedures the price of change of velocity. We will explore acceleration in much more detail later, but it can be exciting to take it a look in ~ it here.

If a human being takes 3 steps and ends increase in the precise same location as their starting point, what must be true?

What can we learn about motion by looking at velocity vs. Time graphs? Let’s return to our journey to school, and look in ~ a graph of place versus time as presented in figure 2.15.


We assumed for our initial calculation the your parent drove through a constant velocity to and also from school. We now understand that the car could not have gone from rest to a consistent velocity there is no speeding up. So the really graph would certainly be curved on either end, but let’s make the same approximation as we go then, anyway.

It is typical in physics, specifically at the early learning stages, for particular things to be neglected, together we check out here. This is due to the fact that it renders the ide clearer or the calculation easier. Practicing physicists usage these type of short-cuts, together well. It works out due to the fact that usually the point being neglected is small enough the it does not significantly impact the answer. In the previously example, the quantity of time it takes the automobile to rate up and also reach its seafaring velocity is very little compared to the complete time traveled.

Looking in ~ this graph, and given what us learned, we have the right to see the there space two distinctive periods to the car’s motion—the means to school and the means back. The average velocity because that the journey to college is 0.5 km/minute. We deserve to see the the typical velocity for the drive ago is –0.5 km/minute. If us plot the data reflecting velocity matches time, us get another graph (Figure 2.16):


number 2.16 Graph of velocity versus time for the drive to and also from school.

We can learn a couple of things. First, we have the right to derive a v matches t graph native a d versus t graph. Second, if we have actually a straight-line position–time graph the is positively or negatively sloped, it will yield a horizontal velocity graph. There room a few other exciting things come note. Just as we can use a place vs. Time graph to recognize velocity, we deserve to use a velocity vs. Time graph to recognize position. We know that v = d/t. If we use a tiny algebra to re-arrange the equation, we watch that d = v ×× t. In figure 2.16, we have actually velocity top top the y-axis and also time follow me the x-axis. Let’s take just the an initial half that the motion. We acquire 0.5 km/minute ×× 10 minutes. The devices for minutes cancel every other, and we obtain 5 km, which is the displacement for the pilgrimage to school. If we calculate the exact same for the return trip, we get –5 km. If we include them together, we check out that the network displacement for the entirety trip is 0 km, which it must be due to the fact that we started and ended in ~ the same place.

Tips for Success

You can treat units similar to you law numbers, for this reason a km/km=1 (or, we say, that cancels out). This is great because it have the right to tell united state whether or no we have calculated everything with the exactly units. Because that instance, if we end up v m × s for velocity rather of m/s, we know that something has actually gone wrong, and we need to examine our math. This procedure is referred to as dimensional analysis, and also it is among the finest ways to check if your math provides sense in physics.

The area under a velocity curve represents the displacement. The velocity curve additionally tells us whether the car is speeding up. In our previously example, we proclaimed that the velocity to be constant. So, the car is no speeding up. Graphically, you can see the the steep of these 2 lines is 0. This slope tells united state that the auto is not speeding up, or accelerating. We will do much more with this details in a later on chapter. For now, simply remember that the area under the graph and also the slope room the two necessary parts of the graph. Similar to we could define a linear equation because that the motion in a position vs. Time graph, us can additionally define one for a velocity vs. Time graph. As we said, the slope amounts to the acceleration, a. And in this graph, the y-intercept is v0. Thus, v= v 0 +at v= v 0 +at .

But what if the velocity is no constant? stop look ago at ours jet-car example. At the start of the motion, together the car is speeding up, we observed that its place is a curve, as presented in figure 2.17.


figure 2.17 A graph is shown of the place of a jet-powered vehicle during the time span when that is speeding up. The steep of a d vs. T graph is velocity. This is displayed at 2 points. Instantaneous velocity in ~ any point is the slope of the tangent at the point.

You do not have to do this, but you could, theoretically, take the instantaneous velocity in ~ each allude on this graph. If you did, you would certainly get number 2.18, i beg your pardon is just a straight line v a optimistic slope.


number 2.18 The graph mirrors the velocity of a jet-powered auto during the time expectancy when it is speeding up.

Again, if us take the steep of the velocity vs. Time graph, we acquire the acceleration, the price of change of the velocity. And, if us take the area under the slope, we get back to the displacement.

Teacher Support

Teacher Support

Teacher Demonstration

Return come the scenario of the drive to and also from school. Re-draw the V-shaped place graph. Ask the students what the velocity is at various times on that graph. Students have to then have the ability to see that the equivalent velocity graph is a horizontal line at 0.5km/minute and also then a horizontal line at –0.5 km/minute. Then attract a few velocity graphs and see if lock can gain the corresponding position graph.

    have students explain the relationship between the velocity and the position on these graphs. Ask—Can a velocity graph be offered to uncover the position? deserve to a velocity graph be offered to uncover anything else?

    What is wrong through this graph? questioning students even if it is the velocity might actually be consistent from rest or transition to negative so quickly. What would more realistic graphs watch like? exactly how inaccurate is that to neglect the non-constant portion of the motion?

      student should be able to see the if a position graph is a straight line, then the velocity graph will certainly be a horizontal line. Also, the instantaneous velocity deserve to be read off the velocity graph at any kind of moment, but an ext steps are necessary to calculation the average velocity.

      guide students in seeing that the area under the velocity curve is actually the position and also the slope to represent the price of change of the velocity, simply as the steep of the position line to represent the price of adjust of the position.

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      analysis the shape of the area to be calculated. In this case, the area is made up of a rectangle between 0 and also 20 m/s stretching to 30 s. The area the a rectangle is length ×× width. Therefore, the area that this item is 600 m.Above the is a triangle whose basic is 30 s and height is 140 m/s. The area of a triangle is 0.5 ×× length ×× width. The area that this piece, therefore, is 2,100 m. Add them with each other to acquire a network displacement that 2,700 m. Take 2 points top top the velocity line. Say, t = 5 s and also t = 25 s. In ~ t = 5 s, the worth of v = 40 m/s. In ~ t = 25 s, v = 140 m/s. Uncover the slope. a = Δv Δt = 100m/s 20s = 5 m/s 2 a = Δv Δt = 100m/s 20s = 5 m/s 2 The instantaneous velocity in ~ t = 5 s, as we found in component (b) is just 40 m/s.Find the network displacement, i m sorry we discovered in component (a) to be 2,700 m.Find the complete time which for this situation is 30 s.Divide 2,700 m/30 s = 90 m/s.