Written by Jerry Ratzlaff on . Posted in Classical Mechanics

acceleration bannerAcceleration, abbreviated as a, is the rate of change of velocity.  Whenever a mass experiences a force, an acceleration is acting.  Acceleration is a vector quantity having magnitude and direction, some of these include displacement, drag, force, lift, momentum, thrust, torque, velocity and weight.

Average Acceleration

The average acceleration is different than the instantaneous acceleration.  Average acceleration is the rate of change of velocity over a given amount of time.  Whereas, instantaneous accleration is the change of velocity at a specific point in time.

\(\large{ a = \frac{ \Delta v }{ t } }\)         

\(\large{ a = \frac{ v_f \;-\; v_i }{ t } }\)

\(\large{ a = \frac{ v_f \;-\; v_i }{ t_f \;-\; t_i } }\)

\(\large{ a = \frac{ F }{ m } }\)         


\(\large{ a }\) = acceleration

\(\large{ F }\) = force

\(\large{ m }\) = mass

\(\large{ t }\) = time

\(\large{ t_f }\) = final time

\(\large{ t_i }\) = initial time

\(\large{ v }\) = velocity

\(\large{ \Delta v }\) = velocity differential

\(\large{ v_f }\) = final velocity

\(\large{ v_i }\) = initial velocity

Tags: Equations for Acceleration