Briefly defined, acceleration is the rate of change of velocity per unit of time. Simpler still, it’s the increase in the rate or speed of an object. For the acceleration calculator to work, the moving object should maintain a constant acceleration. If it does, the acceleration formula is the ratio of the change in velocity against the corresponding change in time. Although this is the most basic acceleration equation, there are other ways to solve it too.
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How to use the acceleration calculator?
If you don’t know how to find acceleration, then this acceleration calculator will be a big help. There are three ways to use this online tool and here are the steps:
- The first method involves the Speed Difference. Here, enter the values of the Initial Speed, Final Speed, and Time then choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu. After that, you will get the acceleration value.
- The second method involves the Distance Traveled. Here, enter the values of the Initial Speed, Distance, and Time. After that, you will get the acceleration value.
- The third method involves the Net Force. Here, enter the value of the Mass and Net Force to get the acceleration value.
What is acceleration?
As we defined earlier, acceleration refers to the rate of change of the speed of a body. Another way of putting it is how quickly the velocity of a body changes. You can find this definition in Newton’s second law of motion where the mathematician says “it’s directly proportional to the resultant of all forces that act on an object and inversely proportional to its mass.”
It may sound confusing, but it is just common sense. Think about it, if multiple forces push on an object, you must solve the total of these forces even if the forces come from different directions. The resultant is then divided by the object’s mass.
This definition of acceleration demonstrates that force and acceleration are the same. If the force acting on the object changes, so does acceleration. However, the magnitude or how much the change is will depend upon the object’s mass. But keep in mind that this situation doesn’t apply when there is a change in mass. To make this clearer, let’s have an example. For instance, in rocket thrust. In such a situation burnt propellants get used up from the rocket’s nozzle.
To directly measure the acceleration an object experiences, you can use an accelerometer. Try hanging up an accelerometer, and you will have a reading of zero-value. This is due to the gravitational force which acts on any particle with mass. If there is a net force, there will also be an acceleration.
When at rest, the accelerometer will yield a reading of 32.17 ft/sec/sec or 9.8m/sec/sec, which is the acceleration of gravity on the Earth’s surface. Putting it in simple terms, this measurement is due to gravity that an object gains when in a vacuum and in free fall.
How do you calculate acceleration?
Sir Isaac Newton, who is one a very influential man in the world of science, discussed acceleration as part of the laws of motion in his well-known book “Principia.” In this work, he formulated the law of universal gravitation. This states that “every two mass objects will attract each other with the force that has an exponential dependence on the distance between the two objects.”
According to him, the heavier an object is, the stronger the gravitational force it has. This explains why the planets continue to orbit around the sun which is extremely dense. As stated in his book Principia, there are 3 laws of motion that govern our world’s physics namely:
- “An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” (the First Law)
- “The vector sum of the forces F on an object is equal to the mass m of that object multiplied by the acceleration of the object” (the Second Law)
- “When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.” (the Third Law)
The basis of the acceleration formula the three other acceleration equations. Among these formulas, the third one is a derivative of Newton’s work. Here are the acceleration equations:
a = (v_f – v_i) / Δt
a = 2 * (Δd – v_i * Δt) / Δt²
a = F / m
a refers to the acceleration
v_i refers to the initial velocity
v_f refers to the final velocities
Δt refers to the acceleration time
Δd refers to the distance traveled during the acceleration
F refers to the net force which acts on the object which accelerates
m refers to the mass of the object
What is acceleration formula?
Since the definition of acceleration is the measure of how rapidly an object’s velocity changes, we can then solve the measure by simply dividing the change in velocity by the time. Putting this into a formula, we have:
Acceleration = (final velocity – initial velocity ) / time = change in velocity / time
If you measure the velocity by meters/sec, then the units for v will be meters/sec/sec. But in the English system, it’s ft/sec/sec.
What is the acceleration of gravity?
When an object free falls downward towards earth, its measured acceleration will be 9.8 meters/sec/sec or 32.14 ft/sec/sec. This is a significant value in physics called the “acceleration of gravity.”This refers to the acceleration of any object which moves solely under the influence of gravity. Most physicists use the symbol “g” to denote it.
How to find average acceleration?
Another term you may encounter when dealing with acceleration is average acceleration. This is the ratio of the average velocity change to the average time for varying time intervals. You can find this value using the average acceleration calculator. This average demonstrates how quickly something is either slowing down or speeding up. The formula is:
Average Acceleration=Δv / Δt
Δv refers to the total velocity
Δt refers to the total amount of time taken