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This question is as simple as the just substituting the values (that’s what I think, doesn’t have to be right). So we get

For $t=1$ $$x=-3+1=-2$$

For $t=3$ $$x=-9+27=18$$

Adding both we get $+16$ . The answer given is $20$ . Why is this so?

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Body start from -2 and go to + 18 then total displacement will be +20

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, that makes sense. 🤗 my bad $\endgroup$
    – Aditya
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 16:23
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As others have noted, the answer is $20$ because the computation involves $18 - (-2) = 20$. More generally, displacement is defined as an object's final position minus its initial position. Note that this doesn't have anything to do with absolute values, actually—you can have a negative displacement!

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The initial position of the particle is $-2$ and the final position is $1$. So displacement is $final \;position - initial\; position$ $=18-(-2)$ $=18+2$ $=20$

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It's simple, you have to add the absolute values .The negative sign in coordinate of $x$ indicates that its 2 units away from origin in opposite direction. you should draw a diagram to see it clearly.

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  • $\begingroup$ But I need the ‘displacement’ $\endgroup$
    – Aditya
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 16:21

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