What is displacement?
A straight line path joining the initial and final positions of the body irrespective of the fact that this straight line path is actually travelled by the body or not is known as displacement.
Displacement is a vector quantity because it has both magnitude and direction which means that change in direction, change in magnitude or change in both magnitude and direction will change the value of displacement.
- Being a vector quantity the value of displacement can be positive when the direction of initial and final positions are the same, negative when the directions of both initial and final positions are opposite and zero when the initial position of the body coincides with the final positions of the body.
- It is always a straight line path and can never be a curve, zig- zag or some irregular path joining the initial and final positions of the body that is why it is also defined as the shortest path length travelled by the body joining the initial and final positions of the body.
- Also, it doesn't matters that the body is actually covering that straight line path or not. If it is a straight line joining he initial and final positions of the body it will always be the displacement of the body.