Motion of an object over a period of time may vary. These variations are conveniently represented on a distance - time plot as shown in the figure.

Distance time plot |
---|

The figure above displays distance covered in two equal time intervals. The vertical segment DB and FC parallel to the axis represents distances covered in the two equal time intervals. The distance covered in two equal time

and

The distance - time plot characterizes the nature of distance. We see that the plot is always drawn in the first quadrant as distance can not be negative. Further, distance – time plot is ever increasing during the motion. It means that the plot can not decrease from any level at a given instant. When the object is at rest, the distance becomes constant and plot is a horizontal line parallel to time axis. Note that the portion of plot with constant speed does not add to the distance and the vertical segment representing distance remains constant during the motion.

Distance time plot |
---|