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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.

 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.