We define distance as a scalar expression; that implies how much area is covered by an object while travelling from one location to another. As a scalar measure, it takes into account the magnitude only and not the direction. So, it gives the numerical value of the amount of space between two points, at a given time, considering the actual path. The SI unit of distance is meters.
Displacement means the change in position of someone or something, in a particular direction. It is the shortest length measured from its initial position to the final position of the moving body. It is a vector quantity, so it takes into account both magnitude and direction of the object. The magnitude of displacement refers to the linear distance between two points.
In general, measurement of displacement is done along the straight line, although, its measurement can also be done along curved paths. Further, the measurement is done considering a reference point.
|BASIS FOR COMPARISON||DISTANCE||DISPLACEMENET|
|Meaning||Distance refers to the amount of space between two points, measured along the actual path, linking them.||Displacement refers to the amount of space between the two points, measured along the minimum path linking them.|
|What is it?||Length of the total avenue traversed by the body.||Least distance between starting and ending point.|
|Quantity||Scalar Quantity||Vector Quantity|
|Information||Gives complete information of the route followed by the body.||Does not give complete information of the route followed by the body.|
|Time||Distance can never decrease with time.||Displacement can decrease with time.|
|Values||Positive||Positive, Negative or Zero|
|Formula||Speed × Time||Velocity × Time|