Velocity and Acceleration

Velocity and Acceleration


Velocity is speed in a particular direction.

Acceleration is the change in velocity.

Acceleration is typically given in meters per second per second (m/s2). In each second a velocity gets faster by so many meters per second.

  • Acceleration is often described in gs.
  • Uniform velocity is when the velocity stays the same.

It can be worked out simply by dividing the distance traveled (d) by the time (t): u=d/t.

  • Positive acceleration is getting faster; negative acceleration, or deceleration, is getting slower.


  1. A rifle bullet accelerates down the barrel at 3000 m/s2. A fast car accelerates at 6 m/s2.
  2. When an object falls, the Earth’s gravity makes it accelerates at 9.81 m/s2. This is called g.
  3. In a rocket taking off at 1 g, the acceleration has little effect, but at 3 g, it is impossible to move your arms and legs; at 4-5 g you black out in five seconds.


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