Distance vs. Displacement

Students roam the hallways in order to demonstrate the difference between distance and displacement.

Distance vs. Displacement


  1. Obtain a stopwatch and a corridor pass.
  2. Start from the START line. 
  3. Start your timer as you start walking.
  4. Walk anywhere you want on the 2nd & 3rd floors quietly and without disrupting any classes, for a maximum of five minutes.
  5. Stop your timer when you cross the FINISH line.


Convert your time to seconds.

Determine the approximate distance you walked:

    • The long corridor on the 2nd and 3rd floor (excluding the cafeteria and field house area) is 135 m long.
    • The short corridor outside rooms 200–209 and 300–309 is

36 m

    • Walking up or down stairs between the 2nd and 3rd floor is 18 m (from the hallway on one floor to the same hallway on the floor above or below).
    • The corridor that runs from the bridge past the cafeteria and field house is 48 m long.

The START and FINISH lines are 10 m apart, so if you followed the instructions correctly your displacement was 10 m.

Last modified: Saturday, 9 November 2013, 3:00 PM