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ZingPath: Acceleration

Instantaneous Velocity and Acceleration

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Lesson Focus

Instantaneous Velocity and Acceleration


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You will discover and learn to expand your knowledge of motion to include the concept of acceleration. Study acceleration using simulations; then use graphing tools to analyze your data.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain what instantaneous velocity is.
  • Compare average velocity and instantaneous velocity.
  • Explain what acceleration is.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What is instantaneous velocity?

~ Instantaneous velocity is the velocity of a moving object at any given instant.

How can an object's instantaneous velocity be found?

~ An object's instantaneous velocity can be found through the use of a position-versus-time graph. The tangent to this graph at any point in time will indicate the object's instantaneous velocity at that instant.

What is acceleration?

~ Acceleration is the rate of change in velocity.

What can we say about the direction of the acceleration and the velocity when an object begins to decelerate?

~ When an object begins to decelerate, the acceleration and velocity are in opposite directions.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should have a general understanding of the following terms: acceleration, average velocity, and deceleration.
Course Physics
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary acceleration, average velocity, deceleration