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CATAGORY: Mechanics QUESTION: what is acceleraton
Acceleration is the rate of change of the rate of change of position. When a car accelerates it means that either the velocity of the car is increasing (in other words the car is going faster and faster) or decreasing (in which case we call it deceleration or negative acceleration) or that the direction of the car is changing such as when a car goes around a corner. Mathematicaly we write the average acceleration (a) as a = change in velocity / change in time = (final velocity - initial velocity)/change in time For example if a car is traveling at 50m/s and in 20 seconds speeds up to 80m/s then the average acceleration is a = (80m/s - 50 m/s)/20s = 30m/s / 20s = 1.5 m/s^2 (s^2 menas "seconds squared") An exact expression for acceleration requires knowledge of calculus. It is the first derivative of velocity or the second derivative of position with respect to time.