The acceleration of an object is the change in its velocity over a period of time, or the rate at which its velocity increases. The units for acceleration are distance/time^2 (for example m/s^2).
Okay letâs talk about acceleration. Youâve all heard about acceleration when you watch a car advertisement, this car goes 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds. What they're really telling you how well that car accelerates. So acceleration is the rate of change of velocity, how quickly it can get from a low speed 0 to a very high speed okay?
So letâs first look at the units because the units for acceleration can often times be confusing okay? So we have the rate of change of velocity so we have a final velocity minus an initial velocity over time okay? Now remember velocity is like like meters per second itâs a distance over time, so if you have a distance over time minus the distance over time we end up with distance over time divided by time, so what weâre going to do is weâre going to move both of our time units down to the denominator and weâre going to have a distance over time squared okay? So letâs look at an example of how we could solve an acceleration problem okay? Like that car that was accelerating, how fast was that rate of acceleration okay? So letâs say that car goes from 0 kilometers per hour to 100 kilometers per hour in 10 seconds okay? I need to take my final velocity 100 kilometers an hour minus my initial velocity 0 kilometers an hour, remember to include your units, sometimes you can get confused if you drop your units and you donât know what youâre talking about okay? So we've got that over 10 seconds okay? Now notice I have seconds here and hours here, is that a problem? No itâs not, we can actually use units where we have hours, second hours or hours seconds those are fine okay? So when we solve that 100-0 is a 100 divided by ten equals 10 kilometers per hour second okay? So that is our rate of acceleration 10 kilometers per hour second.
One final note about acceleration, remember weâre talking about changes in velocity and velocity involves not only a distance over time but in direction so we have going the same speed but we're changing direction our velocity is changing and our acceleration will be accelerating as we go around the curve so itâs not just accelerating going straight we can also as we turn keeping the same velocity we can also accelerate even our speed remains the same and thatâs important to remember that acceleration.