Acceleration calculator is a tool that helps you to find out how fast the speed of an object is changing. It can work it out either based on a difference of velocities at two different points in time or based on mass of the accelerating object and the force that acts on it. If you're asking yourself what is acceleration, what is the acceleration formula or what are the units of acceleration, keep reading and you'll find out how to find acceleration. You might also be interested in kinetic energy calculator.
What is acceleration?
Acceleration is the rate of change of speed of something, in other words, it's how fast the velocity changes. According to Newton's second law, the acceleration is directly proportional to the resultant of all forces that an object is subjected to and inversely proportional to its mass. It's all common sense - if several different forces are pushing an object, we need to work out the what they add up to (they may be working in different directions...) and then the resulting net force divide by our object's mass.
How to find acceleration?
Depending on what data you have, you may calculate it out of speed difference over a period of time:
- Find out the initial speed. In our example, let's make it
- Find out the final speed. Let's make it
- Find out the time it took to go from the initial to final velocity. Let's say it took
- Divide the difference between those speeds by the time.
(30 m/s - 10 m/s) / 8s = (20 m/s) / 8s = 2.5 m/s².
- Now you know how to find acceleration. Or simply use our acceleration calculator :-)
... or if you know the net force and mass of the object, simply divide the former by the latter. For example,
10000N / 2000kg = 5m/s² (see below to find out why the unit has changed).
If you read the previous paragraph, you know there are two different equations:
acceleration = (velocity2 - velocity1) / time
acceleration = net_force / mass
Units of acceleration
The acceleration is measured in meters per square second (
m/s²). Alternatively, it may be measured in Newtons per kilogram (
N/kg), but it's basically the same thing, since the newton is
kg * m /s² and when you reduce the units, you'll get
(kg * m / s²) / kg = m / s².