Speed (or Velocity) Conversion Calculator

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What are Speed and Velocity

Speed is the rate of change in position of a moving quanity, without factoring direction into the equation. Walk forwards or backwards at 2 meters per second, and your speed is just that: 2 m/s. Velocity is speed in the context of direction. Say you were walking backwards again: your velocity would be negative 2 m/s, although your speed would still be positive.

Shows the difference between speed and velocity. Speed does not factor direction, but velocity does.

For most science applications, the SI unit for speed and velocity is meters per second (m/s), although kliometers per hour (km/h) are sometimes used when measuring the speed of vehicles. The English system usually expresses speed as miles per hour (mph) or sometimes feet per second (ft/s), while marine vessels typically use knots, or nautical miles per hour.

How to Convert Units of Speed

Conversions are performed by using a conversion factor. By knowing the conversion factor, converting between units can become a simple multiplication problem:

S * C = E

Where S is our starting value, C is our conversion factor, and E is our end converted result.

To simply convert from any unit into meters per second, for example, from 5 mph, just multiply by the conversion value in the right column in the table below.

5 mph * 0.44704 [ (m/s) / (mph) ] = 2.2352 m/s

To convert from m/s into units in the left column divide by the value in the right column or, multiply by the reciprocal, 1/x.

2.2352 (m/s) / 0.44704  [ (m/s) / (mph) ] = 5 mph

To convert among any units in the left column, say from A to B, you can multiply by the factor for A to convert A into meters per second then divide by the factor for B to convert out of Pascals.  Or, you can find the single factor you need by dividing the A factor by the B factor.

For example, to convert from miles per hour to kilometers per hour inch you would multiply by 0.44704 then divide by 0.2777778.  Or, multiply by 0.44704/0.27777778 = 1.6093439. So, to convert directly from mph to km/h (kph), you multiply by 1.6093439.

Units, symbols and conversion values
used in this speed calculator
To Convert from
Unit
Unit
Symbol
and Convert to
( m/s )
Multiply by
( m/s / Unit )
centimeter per minute cm/min meter per second 0.0001667
centimeter per second cm/s meter per second 0.01
foot per hour ft/h meter per second 8.46667E-05
foot per minute ft/min meter per second 0.00508
foot per second ft/s meter per second 0.3048
inch per minute in/min meter per second 0.000423333
inch per second in/s meter per second 0.0254
kilometer per hour km/h (kph) meter per second 0.2777778
kilometer per second km/s meter per second 1000
knot (nautical mi/h) kn meter per second 0.5144444
knot (UK) kn meter per second 0.5148
meter per hour m/h meter per second 0.0002777778
meter per minute m/min meter per second 0.01667
meter per second m/s meter per second 1
mile per hour mi/h (mph) meter per second 0.44704
mile per minute mi/min meter per second 26.8224
mile per second mi/s meter per second 1609.344
speed-of-light (vacuum) c meter per second 299792458
yard per hour yd/h meter per second 0.000254
yard per minute yd/min meter per second 0.01524
yard per second yd/s meter per second 0.9144

References/ Further Reading

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - The NIST Guide for the use of the International System of Units - Appendix B, subsections B.8 Factors for Units Listed Alphabetically and B.9 Factors for units listed by kind of quantity or field of science.

Lide, David R., Daniel (Editor-in-Chief). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 89th Edition New York, NY: CRC Press, p. 1-28, 2008.

Wikipedia contributors. "Conversion of units" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, last visited 26 Jun. 2011.

How Many? A dictionary of units of measurement at http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/

 

Cite this content, page or calculator as:

Furey, Edward "Speed Conversion Calculator" From http://www.CalculatorSoup.com - Online Calculator Resource.