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CREDITS
Animation & Design: Joshua Thomas (https://www.instagram.com/jt_saiyan/?hl=en)
Narration: Dale Bennet
Script: Bethan Parry
Which travels faster, Usain Bolt or a formula 1 car? In this video, we’ll find out how to calculate speed using distance and time, which we’ll then use to work out the answer to who’s faster.
Speed is a measure of the distance an object travels in a certain time. Speed can be calculated using the formula “Speed equals distance traveled divided by time”. So to work out which is faster, Usain Bolt or the F1 car, we need to know how far they both travel and how long it takes them to cover that distance.
Let’s work out the speed of Usain Bolt first. In 2009, Usain Bolt set the world record for the 100m sprint in 9.58 seconds. The distance was 100m, the time taken was 9.58 seconds. Using the formula of speed equals distance divided by time,100m divided by 9.58 seconds. This means his speed was 10.44 meters per second.
We have the units for distance and time; meters and seconds, which we use to work out the units for the speed. Meters divided by seconds, which we say as meters per second. That’s pretty impressive, even for the fastest man on Earth! So how fast is an F1 car for us to compare him to? Pause the video and work it out.
Did you get 375 km per hour? So who is faster?
Hmmm, from these speeds, we can’t tell. What’s the problem with comparing these two answers? Pause the video and have a think.
To work out which is traveling faster, the units of speed must be the same. So let’s convert the formula 1 speed also into meters per second. Km into meters, multiply by 1000 and turn 1 hour into seconds by multiplying by 60 for minutes and by 60 again for seconds. So 375,000 meters divided by 3600 seconds gives 104.2 m/s. Now we have our speeds in the same units, it’s easy to see that the formula 1 car is much much faster!
The formula can also be written in a formula triangle:
Speed equals distance divided by time.
Time equals distance divided by speed.
And distance equals speed multiplied by time
Here are 2 questions for you to do. Pause the video and work them out...
Did you get them right?
A distance of 150km and a time of 1.66 hours, which is 1 hour 40 minutes. So now you can calculate speed distance and time and understand a little about the units of speed. And of course, have proved that a formula 1 car is faster than even the fastest person on the planet!
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