Browse Definitions:
Definition

displacement

Displacement (symbolized d or s ), also called length or distance, is a one-dimensional quantity representing the separation between two defined points. The standard unit of displacement in the International System of Units ( SI ) is the meter (m).

Displacement is usually measured or defined along a straight line. For example, we might speak of the distance between the center of the earth and an orbiting satellite , and measure it as 13,000,000 meters. However, displacement is sometimes measured or defined along curved paths. The most common example is in expressions of the distance between geographic locations on the earth's surface; the equator is approximately 10,000,000 meters from the North Pole, for example. Other examples of nonlinear displacement include the circumference of a subatomic particle, the actual length (as opposed to the straight span) of a sagging rope, or the length of wire that comprises a coil.

When expressing large or small distances, prefix multiplier s are attached to the meter. The table below shows the most common alternative displacement units and their relationship to the meter.

Unit
(and symbol)
To convert to
meters,multiply by:
Conversely,
multiply by:
kilometer (km) 1000 0.001
centimeter (cm) 0.01 100
millimeter (mm) 0.001 1000
micrometer or
micron (µ)
10 -6 10 6
nanometer (nm) 10 -9 10 9
Angström (Ä) 10 -10 10 10

Compare area , and volume .

Also see centimeter , meter , meter squared , meter cubed , and International System of Units ( SI ).

This was last updated in September 2010

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

k.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day vulnerability, also known as a computer zero day, is a flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • SAS SSD (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive)

    A SAS SSD (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive) is a NAND flash-based storage or caching device designed to fit in the same ...

  • MTTR (mean time to repair)

    MTTR (mean time to repair) is the average time required to fix a failed component or device and return it to production status.

  • OpenStack Swift

    OpenStack Swift, also known as OpenStack Object Storage, is an open source object storage system that is licensed under the ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close