The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position with respect to a frame of reference, and is a function of time. Velocity is equivalent to a specification of its speed and direction of motion, Velocity is an important concept in kinematics, the branch of classical mechanics that describes the motion of bodies. Velocity is a vector quantity, both magnitude and direction are needed to define it. The scalar absolute value of velocity is called speed, being a coherent derived unit whose quantity is measured in the SI system as metres per second or as the SI base unit of. For example,5 metres per second is a scalar, whereas 5 metres per second east is a vector, if there is a change in speed, direction or both, then the object has a changing velocity and is said to be undergoing an acceleration. To have a constant velocity, an object must have a constant speed in a constant direction, constant direction constrains the object to motion in a straight path thus, a constant velocity means motion in a straight line at a constant speed. For example, a car moving at a constant 20 kilometres per hour in a path has a constant speed. Hence, the car is considered to be undergoing an acceleration, Speed describes only how fast an object is moving, whereas velocity gives both how fast and in what direction the object is moving. If a car is said to travel at 60 km/h, its speed has been specified, however, if the car is said to move at 60 km/h to the north, its velocity has now been specified. The big difference can be noticed when we consider movement around a circle and this is because the average velocity is calculated by only considering the displacement between the starting and the end points while the average speed considers only the total distance traveled. Velocity is defined as the rate of change of position with respect to time, average velocity can be calculated as, v ¯ = Δ x Δ t. The average velocity is less than or equal to the average speed of an object. This can be seen by realizing that while distance is always strictly increasing, from this derivative equation, in the one-dimensional case it can be seen that the area under a velocity vs. time is the displacement, x. In calculus terms, the integral of the velocity v is the displacement function x. In the figure, this corresponds to the area under the curve labeled s. Since the derivative of the position with respect to time gives the change in position divided by the change in time, although velocity is defined as the rate of change of position, it is often common to start with an expression for an objects acceleration. As seen by the three green tangent lines in the figure, an objects instantaneous acceleration at a point in time is the slope of the tangent to the curve of a v graph at that point. In other words, acceleration is defined as the derivative of velocity with respect to time, from there, we can obtain an expression for velocity as the area under an a acceleration vs. time graph
Image: US Navy 040501 N 1336S 037 The U.S. Navy sponsored Chevy Monte Carlo NASCAR leads a pack into turn four at California Speedway
Kinematic quantities of a classical particle: mass m, position r, velocity v, acceleration a.
Example of a velocity vs. time graph, and the relationship between velocity v on the y-axis, acceleration a (the three green tangent lines represent the values for acceleration at different points along the curve) and displacement s (the yellow area under the curve.)