Browse Definitions:
Definition

foot per second (ft/s or ft/sec)

The foot per second (symbolized ft/s or ft/sec) is the unit of linear speed in the foot-pound-second ( fps ) or English system. This quantity can be defined in either of two senses: average or instantaneous.

Average linear speed is obtained by measuring the distance in feet that an object travels in a certain number of seconds, and then dividing the distance by the time. If s avg represents the average speed of an object (in feet per second) during a time interval t (in seconds), and the distance traveled in that time is equal to d (in feet), then:

s avg = d / t

Instantaneous linear speed is more difficult to intuit, because it involves an expression of motion over an "infinitely short" interval of time. Let p represent a specific point in time. Suppose an object is in motion at about that time. The average speed can be measured over increasingly short time intervals centered at p , for example:

[ p -4, p +4]
[ p -3, p +3]
[ p -2 , p +2]
[ p -1, p +1]
[ p -0.5, p +0.5]
[ p -0.25, p +0.25]
.
.
.
[ p - x , p + x ]
.
.
.


where the added and subtracted numbers represent seconds. The instantaneous speed, s inst , is the limit of the measured average speed as x approaches zero. This is a theoretical value, because it cannot be obtained except by inference from measurements made over progressively shorter time spans.

It is important to realize that speed is not the same thing as velocity. Speed is a scalar (dimensionless) quantity, while velocity is a vector quantity consisting of speed and direction. We might say a car is traveling at 60 ft/s, and this tells us its speed. Or we might say the car is traveling at 60 ft/s at a compass bearing of 25 degrees (north-by-northeast); this tells us its velocity. As with speed, we might specify either the average velocity over a period of time, or the instantaneous velocity at an exact moment in time.

The foot per second is often used by lay people when talking about speed, particularly in the United States. But scientists, and most people in other parts of the world, use the meter per second (m/s), which is the standard unit of speed in the International System of Units ( SI ).

Also see foot , second , International System of Units ( SI ), and Table of Physical Units .

This was last updated in March 2011

Start the conversation

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.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

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

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close