You are here: Home Dictionary acceleration
Personal tools

acceleration

Every change of velocity with time is an acceleration.

This definition is slightly different from our everyday usage of the word. Ordinarily, we talk of an object accelerating when it becomes faster and faster. The physics definition covers two more situations. An object that decelerates, becomes slower, thus changes its velocity and, in the physics sense, undergoes a (negative) acceleration. Also, in physics, velocity is not the same as speed. A constant velocity implies not only constant speed, but also a constant direction of movement. Once the direction changes, so does the velocity - the change in velocity is associated with the change in the direction of movement. Thus, in the physics sense, even a car going around a curve of the road at constant speed undergoes acceleration.