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A diver dives down at a steady rate over several seconds. If you calculate her change in position, will your answer be positive or negative? Explain using the sign rules of multiplication or division.
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Your answer will be negative because your diving down not coming up. If you solve the equation the way your math teacher taught you, you'll be fine.
1. Find her speed
2. Calculate how long she was diving.
3. Calculate her change in position
4. Your answer will be negative
The final answer would be negative because it says a diver is diving down
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There is no 'universal' standard for direction. There is no reason why 'down' should not be considered a positive displacement.
The main thing to bear in mind is that once oyu have defined the direction for positive displacement then you MUST remain consistent when you consider velocity and acceleration.
That said - I suspect the question expects you to assume 'down' as negative, because it is 'normal' to take gravity as -9.81m/s^2 - which implies movement in the direction of gravitaitnal force is negative.