as i learned in basic physics this summer, average velocity = distance/time
distance = miles/kms/whatevers between where you started and where you are right now. if i was born in st. john’s hospital in yonkers and now reside in nyc, my distance would be 12.49 miles. it doesnt matter if i’ve moved/lived in a bunch of far-flung places in between, distance in this case is only the distance between my starting point and my (current) ending point.
my time is 27 years.
so my average velocity is 12.49/27 = .4625 miles/year.
my highest average velocity i’ve ever had would be approx. 8000/24 = 333.33 mpy
Your highest average lifetime velocity, to be precise. Otherwise, you could easily do better. Just pick five minutes of your life from a plane ride, say.
Of course, questions arise: velocity relative to what? Should distances across the globe be measured in terms of the arc length along the surface or the actual straight-line distance through the Earth?
Going with reasonable answers of “You know what I mean”, my current average lifetime velocity is about 44 miles over 22 years = 2 mpy. My lifetime high would be about 3000 miles over 3 years = 1000 mpy.
Actually, I suppose I have an even higher high. When I was very young, I went on a trip to India. I can’t recall my exact age, but I believe I was about a year old. The total distance would’ve been about 8750 miles. So that makes a lifetime high of 8750 mpy.
Yeah. Just to be clear, those two questions I mentioned were meant to be separate questions, so my first question was meant to be about just what you’re saying (things like “But relative to the sun, even staying put in Detroit, I’m traveling in a huge circle all the time”), and the second question was meant to be an independent one rather than some sort of expansion on the topic of the first one. (Though the second question probably doesn’t even make much sense unless you decide to adopt the point of view that Detroit is fixed, immobile throughout time. It’d be a bit odd to ruminate on the different distances between June Detroit and December Detroit as calculated along the surface of the Earth or in a straight line through it. I’m not sure what the former would even mean, in that context.)
And there are various other questions one could ask, I’m sure. But I imagine the best answer to them all is a quick “You know what I mean”, until something should possibly happen to make that untenable.
In a scientific sense, if you are talking relative to the Earth, your average velocity is probably a lot less than you think, and your estimates would also have to specify a direction.
Velocity (again, in the scientific sense of the word) is speed in a particular direction. So if you go 100 kph for one hour toward the northwest , and then go 100 kph for one hour toward the southeast, your overall average velocity is zero.
yes! thank you, canadjun, this is exactly the kind of distance i was thinking about. it doesnt matter if you walked all the way around the world, if you ended up in the same place, your distance would be zero.
in terms of “you know what i mean,” i meant relative to earth, not including how the earth moves around the sun or how the galaxy moves through space - i think if we were talking about how the galaxy moves through space then those miles would completely eclipse the miles you might have moved here on earth, so everybody’s velocity would be the same, which would be boring.
and ludovic, according to examples given by my physics professor, i think technically we are supposed to use actual straight-line distances through earth, but methinks that is way hard to figure out, so what i was thinking is a kind of “how the crow flies” distance over the surface of the earth from point a to point b.