What is Acceleration/meaning/concept

In everyday language , it is said that acceleration has occurred when there is an increase in speed. Thus, a runner speeds up when he changes pace to catch up with his opponent ahead. Obviously, when there is a gradual drop in speed, a deceleration occurs. Even so, this term allows us to refer to the vector magnitude that expresses this increase in velocity in a unit of time. However, it can be negative, in which case the magnitude will express a decrease in velocity as a function of time.

In colloquial terms we can be imprecise when talking about speed and acceleration and this circumstance does not affect the effectiveness of communication . However, in the field of physics, both concepts are quite accurate.

Velocity is a vector concept that indicates the speed of movement and, in turn, the direction and direction.

Thus, to establish the speed of an object it is necessary to start from a point on a coordinate axis. For most physical problems, average speed or instantaneous speed is measured.

The idea of ​​acceleration in physical terms is similar to that used in everyday language. Thus, when velocity increases, positive acceleration occurs, and when velocity decreases, acceleration is negative. Therefore, it can be defined as a change in velocity. Consequently, it does not mean that a movement is fast, but its true meaning refers to the variation in velocity over a period of time. In this way, when the speed of a vehicle remains constant, the acceleration is zero.


Although it is the variation of velocity, there are several types: tangential, normal or centripetal. Acceleration is also velocity a vector magnitude. This means that in addition to knowing its numerical value, it is necessary to know its direction and direction. This vector dimension is present in tangential acceleration and centripetal acceleration. The first refers to the variation of velocity in its numerical value and the second is responsible for changes in the velocity direction and, therefore, in its trajectory.

If an automobile travels in a straight line and increases its speed, it is a tangential acceleration. When a car goes around a circular square, its direction changes all the time and, consequently, there is a centripetal acceleration. In physics, the two types of acceleration have a different mathematical formulation.

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