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Speed, Velocity, Acceleration

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-Compare and Contrast velocity or speed and acceleration.

-Consider the formulas, definitions, and units.

-Explain how Newton's Second Law of Motion APPLIES to a task you perform.


Describe Examples how you move an object or person with constant speed AND also with constant acceleration.

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Solution Summary

Comparing and contrasting speed, velocity and acceleration, as well as Newton's Second Law. Ends with an example of how constant speed AND constant acceleration is possible.

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Speed, velocity and acceleration are all related. Speed, by mathematical definition, is the distance something can travel over a unit of time. Note that distance is not a vector measurement, it has no direction, and so speed also has no direction or vector.

Velocity, on the other hand, is mathematically defined as the displacement of an object over a unit of time. Notice that it is almost exactly the same as speed, except that velocity has a vector direction, as displacement is a vector unit. That is to say, I could travel at 5m/s and that would be my speed, but I could also travel 5m/s [forward] or -5m/s [backwards] as my velocity and still be describing the same situation.

Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity over time. Objects don't instantly go from one velocity to another, they must accelerate to reach those velocities. In my example, I don't instantly travel at 5m/s [forward], I very likely started at 0m/s [forward] and reached 5m/s [forward] after a very short amount of time. ...

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