perfect synonyms (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Fri Jul 10 16:41:26 UTC 2009

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

> A classmate of mine once insisted that "speed"
> and "velocity" were just as synonymous.  I tried to disabuse him by
> out that "velocity" was far more prevalent in more technical contexts;
> addition, I believe it has certain technical connotations and nuances
> "speed" does not.  Naturally, he shrugged off my objections.

In an engineering sense, "velocity" means the rate at which something is
moving, and its direction (the rock is thrown, its motion has a vertical
component = up at 1 m/s, westward component at .707 m/s, and northward
component at .707 m/s; or equivalently, vertical at 1 m/s and NW at
1m/s).  Speed is just the rate of movement (the rock is thrown at a
speed of 1.414 m/s [which is the vector sum of motion in all three
degrees of freedom]).

The two terms are not equivalent.
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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