What are some examples of displacement?

1 Answer
Nov 10, 2017


To give examples of displacement, we must first define the term, and see where the definition takes us! Displacement occurs when an object is moved from dis-place to dat-place in a recorded direction.


Suppose we borrowed one of those huge helicopters and hooked it up to the Eiffel Tower to carry it away to Vienna, Austria. This is an example of displacement of a large icon along the 48th parallel of latitude over a distance of 1,033.81 km due east.

Or, we could mimic this displacement by moving a candle-stick from one side of a 1.03m table to the other side of the table, as long as we do it in the east direction.

Then we have a jogger who runs #60m# east, when he discovers he dropped his phone, and turns back west 45m where he sees the phone. Turning back again to continue his easterly run he covers another #60m#. His total displacement is #75m# east, although he has run a distance of #60m+45m+60m=195m#.

Image by EET-AP

There is displacement around a curve. When the earth completes a rotation in one day it also travels in its orbit around the sun #1/(365 1/4)# of the length of its orbit, or about #1/(365 1/4)xx940 million km#.

There is negative displacement:

And zero displacement takes place for every object that returns to its original location. Like the Eiffel Tower. We'll return it!
Displacement will always be less than the distance moved, except in the case of straight line motion in a particular direction.