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MatematikaRia.com

Metric Speed (Velocity)

These are the most common measurements:

  • Meters per Second (m/s)
  • Kilometers per Hours (km/h)

Speed

Speed in meters per second (m/s)

squareThis is a combination of two units (meters and seconds) to make a new one (m/s).

If something is traveling at 1 m/s it moves 1 meter every second.


Speed in kilometers per hour (km/h)

A bit more complicated, but a kilometer has 1,000 meters, and an hour has 3,600 seconds, so a kilometer per hour is:

  • 1000 / 3600 = 3.6 m/s

How did I know to make it 1000/3600, and not 3600/1000 (the other way around)? Read how to Safely Convert From One Unit to Another.

Velocity

Velocity is speed with a direction.

So if something is moving at 5 km/h that is a speed.

But if you say it is moving at 5 km/h westwards that is a velocity.

If something moves backwards and forwards very fast it has a high speed, but a low (or zero) velocity

More Examples

100 km/h is about:

  • how fast you can legally go on a highway
  • the maximum running speed of a cheetah
  • the speed needed to drive one mile in a minute
  • half the freefall speed of a skydiver

60 km/h is about:

  • the speed limit in the city
  • going very fast on a bicycle
  • the speed of a racehorse on a short track
  • full running speed of a Bengal Tiger

1 metre per second is:

  • about 3.2808 feet per second

1 kilometre per hour is

  • about 0.9113 feet per second