Rusk, Rogers D. Formerly, Department of Physics, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Howe, Carl E. Formerly, Physics and Astronomy Department, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.
Stephenson, R. J. Formerly, Department of Physics, Wooster College, Wooster, Ohio.
Last reviewed:June 2018
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- Angular acceleration
- Radial acceleration
- Tangential acceleration
- Additional Readings
The time rate of change of velocity. Acceleration is a physics term that measures the rate of change of velocity per unit of time. Because velocity is a directed or vector quantity involving both magnitude and direction, a velocity may change by a change of magnitude (speed) or by a change of direction, or both. It follows that acceleration is also a directed, or vector, quantity (Fig. 1). See also: Acceleration analysis; Acceleration measurement; Accelerometer; Speed; Velocity
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