A displacement has a direction

When a particle moves in a positive direction its displacement is positive.


                                  Dx = xf -xi = 1- (-2) = 3

When a particle moves in a negative direction its displacement is negative.


                                      Dx = xf -xi = -1.5- 1.5 =- 3

The absolute value of a displacement is called its magnitude.

A displacement is an example of a vector, because it has a direction and a magnitude.

A particle, initially at position x=-5 m, moves to position x = 10 m and then comes back to x = - 5 m.  What is its displacement and what is the total distance it moves?



        Displacement = Dx = xf -xi = -5- (-5) =0 m.

        Total distance it moves = 30 m.