Distance FAQs:


Q: Is distance a numerical description of how far apart objects are?

A: Yes.

Q: Is distance a scalar quantity or a magnitude?

A: Yes, and whereas displacement is a vector quantity with both magnitude and direction.

Q: Is distance that between two different particles or point masses at a given time?

A: Yes.

Q: Is distance analogous to the Nambu-Goto action in string theory?

A: Yes, and however there is no exact correspondence because the Euclidean distance in 3-space is inequivalent to the space-time distance minimized for the classical relativistic string.

Q: Is distance called displacement when it is the distance along a straight line from A and B?

A: Yes, and when A and B are positions occupied by the same particle at two different instants of time.

Q: Is distance in a way the most natural one?

A: Yes, because in this case the length of a rigid body does not change with rotation.

Q: Are distances distances with a directional sense?

A: Yes.

Q: Is distance the Euclidean distance?

A: Yes, and a generalization of the Pythagorean theorem to more than two coordinates.

Q: Is distance also called Chebyshev distance?

A: Yes.

Q: Is distance a positive?

A: Yes, and zero, or negative scalar quantity.

Q: Is distance the larger of two values?

A: Yes, and one being the supremum, for a point ranging over one set, of the infimum, for a second point ranging over the other set, of the distance between the points, and the other value being likewise defined but with the roles of the two sets swapped.