Parallelogram of Velocities


Also found in: Dictionary.

Parallelogram of Velocities

 

a geometric representation of the law of addition of velocities. For the case of a point in compound motion—that is, motion at a velocity vrel (relative velocity) with respect to a frame of reference moving at a velocity vveh (vehicle velocity) relative to a fixed frame of reference—the principle of the parallelogram of velocities states that the absolute velocity of the point is represented by the diagonal of a parallelogram whose sides are the vectors vrel and Vreh. The principle holds for velocities that are small by comparison with the velocity of light.