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Acceleration Definition

Whenever we discuss topics in Physics, the most famous and obvious term that we use in it is "Acceleration," which everyone is very familiar with, Many scientists like Nicola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Ernest Rutherford, and Michael Faraday succeeded in their experiments by using this concept in their various theories. In easy language, Acceleration is the rate of speed change concerning velocity.

It has both direction and magnitude, that's why it is a vector quantity, and its magnitude is derived, or we can say, given by the famous scientist and physician of all time Isaac Newton in his second law of motion that clearly states that

  • Force applied to an object is directly proportional to the mass of the object.
  • Force applied on an object is directly proportional to the Acceleration of an object.
  • The proportionality sign of the object is replaced by using a constant value, say K of value 1.
  • So, finally, the derived formula we get is F = ma.

The SI unit of Acceleration is a meter per second square.

SI units are the Systeme International units considered globally for calculating the quantity or the quality of things.

Example of Acceleration

Let's understand the "Acceleration" topic easily or more efficiently with the help of an example.

Acceleration Definition

When a train is supposed to leave from the platform, then its initial speed and velocity are zero, or we can say the initial frame of reference of the train is different from the frame of reference (frame of reference is normally the location of the object in a fixed dimension) compared at the beginning when it starts and leave from the platform when the train leaves from the platform than its speed are increasing. Still, in scientific language, we say it as the train is accelerating.

The Acceleration of the train in its current direction is called Linear Motion, and the same is considered tangential Acceleration during circular motions.

When a train start means, it is initially at zero. When it accelerates, the passengers sitting inside the train experience a backward force that is called Acceleration due to speed because our body continues to be in the state of rest. When the body experiences a sudden acceleration, it experiences a backward force.

When a fast-moving train stops suddenly, the passengers sitting inside the train experience a forward force because the passengers' body tends to be in a state of motion. When it stops, the Acceleration becomes zero, but the passenger's body tends to be in motion, because of that, they experience a forward force.

When the speed or velocity of the train or any moving object changes negatively, it decreases, then the Acceleration is called Retardation or Deceleration that a passenger sitting inside the train or a moving vehicle suffers.

While calculating the gravity of the Earth, the term acceleration is named Acceleration due to gravity that is denoted as 'g,' and its value on the surface of Earth is taken as 9.8 meters per second square.

Importance of Acceleration in Calculations

The concept of Acceleration plays a vital role while doing various calculations that should be accurate enough that even a single decimal bit change can result in disastrous results. A few of them are listed below:

  • While calculating the minimum speed to through an object outside Earth's atmosphere is so complex that even a small bit of decimal value results in an object starting to revolve around the Earth's atmosphere or float in the dept of the Universe.
  • While calculating the speed of a rocket or a satellite while launching them into the Earth's orbit or letting them go outside the Earth's orbit, even a minute defect in calculations may fail launch, which ultimately results in the wastage of capital, equipment, and time.


Last but not least, Acceleration is something that we can observe in our day-to-day activities. We are surrounded by examples of Acceleration, from walking a person, dropping a mango, falling a petal of a flower, or launching a satellite or a rocket; all come under the example of Acceleration. This is a concept that has its application in the simple concept of physics and also in complex topics such as relativity and many more.

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