Figure 3.24 gives the x-t plot of a particle in one-dimensional motion. Three different equal intervals of time are shown. In which interval is the average speed greatest, and in which is it the least? Give the sign of average velocity for each interval.
Interval 3 (Greatest), Interval 2 (Least)
Positive (Intervals 1 & 2), Negative (Interval 3)
The average speed of a particle shown in the x-t graph is obtained from the slope of the graph in a particular interval of time.
It is clear from the graph that the slope is maximum and minimum restively in intervals 3 and 2 respectively. Therefore, the average speed of the particle is the greatest in interval 3 and is the least in interval 2. The sign of average velocity is positive in both intervals 1 and 2 as the slope is positive in these intervals. However, it is negative in interval 3 because the slope is negative in this interval.