High School Physics


Last updated on February 8th, 2024 at 12:30 pm

Any variation from moving at a constant speed in a straight line is described as acceleration.
It is very important to realize that going faster, going slower, and/or changing direction are all different kinds of acceleration (changing velocities).

Acceleration, a, is defined as the rate of change of velocity with time.
If the acceleration is constant over time Δt then it can be expressed as:
a =Δv/Δt = (v − u)/t

The SI unit of acceleration is meters per second squared, m/s^2 (the same as the units of velocity/time, m/s/s).

Acceleration is a vector quantity.
Acceleration can be:
■ an increase in velocity (positive acceleration)
■ a decrease in velocity (negative acceleration – sometimes called a deceleration)
■ a change of direction.

Now if you like to know in detail about average and instantaneous acceleration, then read the following posts:

Average Acceleration
Instantaneous Acceleration

See also  Inertia - meaning and definition
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