Using the Magic Triangle for Speed, Distance and Time (Compound Measures)

Updated on November 26, 2016

Speed Triangle Video

Speed, distance and time can be calculated using a magic triangle. D (the distance) goes in the top of the triangle, S (speed) goes in the bottom left of the triangle and T (time) goes in the bottom right of the triangle.

If you want to calculate the speed cover up S in the triangle and you get S = D/T

If you want to calculate the time cover up T in the triangle and you get T = D/S

If you want to calculate the distance cover up D in the triangle and you get D = S×T

Example 1

A car covers a distance of 150 miles in 2 ½ hours. Calculate the average speed of the car in miles per hour.

Since you want the speed cover up S in your triangle and you get S = D/T

Next substitute D = 150 and T = 2.5 into the formula for speed:

S = D/T

S = 150/2.5 = 60mph

Example 2

A car is travelling at a constant speed of 80kmph. How many kilometres will the car cover if it keeps this speed for the next 3 hours and 15 minutes?

This time you need to work out the distance so D = S × T

Be careful with the time as it needs to rewritten in hours only. 15 minutes is ¼ hour (0.25) so 3 hours and 15 minutes is 3.25 hours.

Now substitute S = 80 and T = 3.25 into the formula for distance:

D = S ×T

= 80 × 3.25

= 260km

So the car travels 260km in 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Example 3

How long will it take Simon to jog a distance of 15 miles if Simon jogs at a steady speed of 6mph.

Here you need to calculate the time so T = D/S.

Now substitute D = 15 and S = 6 into the formula T = D/S

T = 15/6

T = 2.5 hours

So Simon will take 2 hours and 30 minutes to cover the distance.


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  • profile image

    Ella 4 years ago

    This really helped me when i was doing my science homework!! :-)

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    happyturtle 6 years ago from UK

    What would make this Hub that one extra step ahead is a video explaining this also.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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    markbennis 6 years ago

    I think this Hub is a right little cracker, really enjoyed the way you have laid it out it makes it so much easier to understand, I think this one will help many that are in schools and colleges especially for there exams, voted up!