magnitude of velocity of motion

Speed is a measure. It is velocity but without the direction.[1][2][3][4]

Finding speed


Speed is the distance an object moves in a given amount of time.[1][2][3] The distance is never negative.[5] If a train takes 1 hour to travel 100 kilometers, it has a speed of 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph). In fact this is the average speed.[3] During this one hour, the train may become slower and faster, it may even drive backwards.[3] The average speed of an object in a certain time is the distance the object traveled divided by the time.[1][3][5] The instantaneous speed is the average speed when the time is very small, almost zero.[3]

There are many units of measurement. Since the 20th century following units were widely used by humans:

Different units are used for different applications. People controlling planes and ships frequently use Knot (speed).[3] Sometimes a Mach number is used.

The smallest speed is 0 meters per second (0 km/h; 0 mph). A “negative speed” would be in fact a velocity. The biggest speed is the speed of light.[6] You can write bigger speeds, but they are not possible in this universe.

Read also



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "speed". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (6th ed.). Columbia University Press. January 24, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "velocity". Encyclopaedia Britannica. November 3, 2022. Retrieved December 19, 2022. The magnitude of the velocity (i.e., the speed) is the time rate at which the point is moving along its path.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Glenn Elert (2021). "Speed and Velocity". The Physics Hypertextbook. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  4. Kara Rogers (December 7, 2016). "What's the Difference Between Speed and Velocity?". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  5. 5.0 5.1 David Darling (August 31, 2021). "speed". Encyclopedia of Science. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  6. "The cosmic speed limit: Why can't we travel at light speed?". Science World. July 8, 2015. Archived from the original on December 19, 2022. Retrieved December 19, 2022.