Can displacement be negative?
Someone has asked for a real life example of negative displacement, so here is one below.
Displacement can be negative because it defines a change in position of an object while carefully monitoring its direction.
For our example the object we will consider is you. If you leave your present position and walk down a hallway to get a drink and you walk
Then you walk back towards your original location in the
Your displacement is now
Then you return to your original location.
Now your total displacement is:
Because of positive and negative displacement vectors, you have essentially gone nowhere. You can verify this by looking around. You are back at your original location.
While accomplishing this feat, you have managed to cover a distance of
Time for another drink....