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CORC 1331 MAIN PAGE

PHYSICS TOPICS

Speed
Velocity
Acceleration
Constant Acceleration
Free Fall
Forces and Newton's Law
Kinetic Energy
Potential Energy

LIST OF EXAMPLES

CLASSIC PROBLEMS

Free Fall
Forces
Conservation of Energy
Conservation of Momentum

PHYSICS LINKS

Thinkquest Physics Library
Physics Zone
Multimedia Physics Studio

Acceleration

The term acceleration defines the change in velocity that occurs during a particular period of time. The following formula is used to calculate acceleration.

 

Example 1:

How to find the acceleration of a car if you know its change in speed in a given period of time.

Problem:
A car accelerates from 10 m/s to 60 m/s in 5 seconds.  Calculate its acceleration. 

Car Accelerating

Solution:

Step 1:

In this problem we are given the following:

initial velocity = 10 m/s
final velocity = 60 m/s
time = 5 s

Step 2:

Now you have to plug all data into the formula. Note when the problem has been solved, the units of acceleration are identified as "m/s2 "


The acceleration of the car is 10 m/s2. This means that the car changes its velocity by 10 m/s every second during the 5 second period.

Answer: The acceleration of the car is 10 m/s2.

Example 2:

How to find the velocity of a plane if you know its acceleration and time.

 

Problem:
A plane starts from rest and accelerates at 30 m/s2 in 0.5 seconds. Find the final velocity of the plane.

Airplane starting at rest, then accelerating

Solution:

Step 1:

In this problem we are given the following:
acceleration = 30 m/s2
time = 0.5 s

Step 2:

Use the formula for acceleration to solve the problem:



In order to find the final velocity, you have to multiply the right and left sides of the equation by 0.5 seconds

30 m/s2 x 0.5 seconds = final velocity

Answer: The final velocity of the plane is equal to 15 m/s.