Unit of Distance

What is Distance?

Distance is defined as the numerical measurement of how far apart the objects are from each other. In everyday life, when it comes to the mechanism of physics, distance refers to the physical length or estimation. In many of the cases, the distance between A and B is interchangeable (e.g., two countries over)with the distance between B and A.

In physics, distance acts as a function or metric in a simplification of the theory of physical distance. There is a generalized concept that describes what it means for elements of some space to be "close to" or "far away from" each other

In Psychology, distance is a non-numerical measurement. The different ways in which an object can move taking time as a reference quality in a social distance, space, hypothetically, and self, along a dimension, is known as psychological distance.

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The airline routes between Tokyo and Los Angeles usually follow a direct great circle route highlighted in the above diagram however use the jet stream route highlighted as a green route when heading towards the eastwards. Even though the shortest route appears to be the curve rather than the straight line as this map is Mercator projection, it does not measure all distances related to the real spherical surface of the Earth.

Unit of Distance

The SI unit of distance is meter according to the International System of Units. Using this system, many other base units and equations can be easily derived and are thus known as derived units.

The below shown figure is a grid Manhattan distance

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A physical distance can mean quite a few different things:

  • Distance Travelled: The length of the specific path traveled between two places. For example, the distance covered while navigating a maze.

  • Straight-Line Distance: This is the shortest possible path through space between two places that one can take, considering that there are no obstacles. This is otherwise usually known as Euclidean distance.

  • Geodesic Distance: The shortest path between two possible places while staying on the surface, such as the great circle distance along the curve of Earth.

  • The length of the specific path that returns to the starting point, for example, a ball thrown straight up in the air or the Earth when it completes one orbit.

Unit of Area

The phenomena that suggest the extent of a 2D shape, planar lamina, or shape in a plane is known as the area, and its analog on the 2D surface of a 3D object is known as the surface area. The area can be identified as the amount of material with a given thickness. It would be essential to fashion a model of the shape or the quantity of the paint required to cover the surface with a single coat. It is a two-dimensional analog of the length of a curve (a one-dimensional concept) or the volume of a solid (which is a three-dimensional concept).

Each and every unit of length has an equivalent unit of area, namely the area of a square is given with the help of a side length. The area can be measured in square meters (m2), square millimeters (mm2), square centimeters (cm2), square kilometers (km2), square yards (yd2), square miles (mi2), square feet (ft2), etc. Algebraically the mentioned units can be thought of as the square of the corresponding length units.

The SI unit of area is square meter, which is considered as an SI derived unit.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain distance and displacement with examples

The distance of an object which does not depend on the direction of the motion is known as the scalar quantity. The distance can also be described as the complete path traveled by an object; for example, if a jeep travels 5 km east and then takes a turn and travel 9 km north, the total distance traveled by the vehicle will be 14 km. It can never be negative or zero, and it is always more than the displacement of the object. Complete information is provided by the distance about the path traveled by the object.

Displacement depends on the direction of the motion of the object; hence it's a vector quantity. It can also be described as the object's overall motion or the minimum distance between the starting point and final point of the object. Considering the above example, the total displacement of the object will be the length of the line joining the starting and the final positions. The displacement of an object is generally shorter than the distance traveled by the object. But proper information is not provided by the displacement for the path traveled by the object.