Physics

Velocity and Acceleration

len Alfred Ajibola - Tue, 24th December, 2019 @ 3:02 PM

Topics in Physics

Derived Units: Similarities and differences with fundamental units Gravity: Facts on Gravity Relative Density of Substances and Specific Gravity Types of Heat Transfer: Conduction Types of Heat Transfer: Convection Types of Heat Transfer: Radiation Physics Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Physics Scheme of Work, SS1, Second Term Physics Scheme of Work, SS1, Third Term Velocity and Acceleration Newton's Laws of Motion Importance of Gravity What is Density? Density of various substances Concepts of Force and Motion in Physics Motion and Speed in Physics Concept of Heat Transfer Concepts of Heat and Temperature What is gravity? Concept of gravity on the solar system Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics: Thermal Equilibrium Fundamental Quantities and Units in Physics


Academic Questions in Physics

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following is a fundamental quantity?

  • A. Luminous Intensity

  • B. Area

  • C. Volume

  • D. Velocity

  • E. Concentration

  • F. Acceleration

An object at rest will temporarily stay in its state of rest, and if the object is in uniform motion, it will temporarily move in a straight line, unless an external force acts upon it.

The above statement refers to Sir Isaac Newton's first law of motion.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Which of the following statement is incorrect concerning gravity?

  • A. The force of gravity is generally considered the strongest force among the four forces that govern the universe

  • B. Your weight changes as you travel away from the earth

  • C. If we dig the earth until we get into its center, we will have no weight as a result of lack of gravity

  • D. Gravity prevents us from falling off the constantly rotating earth

  • E. If a hammer and a feather are dropped simultaneously in a vacuum, they will both land at the exact same time as a result of gravity

  • F. Weight is always a function of gravity

Isaac Newton Hit by Apple - Len Academy

Sir Isaac Newton was hit by an apple when he pondered on force, motion and gravity.

  • A. True

  • B. False

The movement of gaseous particles through a tiny hole is termed _____.

  • A. Osmosis

  • B. Diffusion

  • C. Effusion

  • D. Infusion

  • E. Defusion

  • F. Gaslusion

A lighted bulb transfers heat through a process termed _____.

  • A. Conduction

  • B. Convection

  • C. Radiation

  • D. Oxidation

  • E. Reduction

  • F. Electrical Induction

A measurement of how much the velocity of an object changes with time is termed _____.

  • A. Displacement

  • B. Acceleration

  • C. Speed

  • D. Momentum

  • E. Velocity-Time graph

  • F. Average velocity

Which of the following differentiates velocity from speed?

  • A. Distance

  • B. Time

  • C. Momentum

  • D. Inertia

  • E. Direction

  • F. Distance and Time



What is Velocity?

Although velocity and speed are often used interchangeably by students, they are not the same thing. As a student, you will need an understanding on motion and speed to better comprehend velocity and acceleration.

Please read on motion and speed here.


The direction in which an object is moving is what differentiates velocity from speed.

Velocity can be defined as speed in a given direction. It is also be defined as the rate of change of displacement.

  • Velocity = Change in distance/Change in time

Please read on Newton's laws of motion here.

Meanwhile, recall that velocity is a vector quantity since it has both magnitude and direction.


Below is a narrative that differentiates speed from velocity:

A bus is moving on a highway at a speed of 100 meters per 20 seconds. If the bus changes its direction and moves at a different speed (or even the same speed), then that's velocity.

With regards to the above instance, the bus may move at a velocity of 100m/20s in the northern direction and 100m/20s in the eastern direction.


Always remember that speed and velocity both have the same Standard International (SI) unit; and that is meter per second (m/s).

Please read more on fundamental and derived units here.

 

Acceleration

The velocity of a moving object can either decrease or increase over a period of time; and this is where acceleration comes into play. Consider the instance below:

When you ride a bicycle, you start slowly but as soon as you increase the push on the pedals, the bicycle moves faster (accelerate). When you stop pushing the pedals, the bicycle begins to move slowly (negative acceleration).

Please read the concept of force and motion here.


From the above instance, we can therefore say that acceleration may also be negative.

Note: Deceleration is an English term used to describe negative acceleration; but in physics, we use the term 'acceleration' to denote both the positive and negative changes in velocity.

You can read more on synonyms here.


Acceleration is defined as the rate of change of velocity. Acceleration is also defined as the measurement of how much the velocity of an object changes with time.

  • Acceleration = Change in velocity/Change in time


If an object changes velocity after a fixed amount of time, then such acceleration is said to be constant (that is: constant acceleration). Consider the instance below:

  • If we throw a table tennis ball down a slope, it will roll downwards more rapidly at each second.

  • On the 1st second, let's assume it's velocity to be 20m/s.

  • On the 2nd second, its velocity becomes 25m/s.

  • On the 3rd second, it becomes 30m/s.


With regards to the above velocities, such ball is said to have a constant acceleration of 5m/s.

This means that: for every 5 meters moved, the tennis ball accelerates by 1 second.

You can read on the basic and fundamental physics concepts here.


We also have the concept of average acceleration in motion.

Average acceleration is the total change in velocity over a period of time, divided by the duration of that period.

Acceleration is a vector quantity and its SI unit is meter per second (m/s) or meter per second square (m/s2).

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Amazing facts in Physics

Marie Curie was the first person ever to win two Nobel prizes. She won her first Nobel price for physics in 1903, and the second for chemistry in 1911 for her work on radioactivity.

The hottest temperature ever recorded occurred in Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley, California, USA, at 56.7oor (134oF) on July 10, 1913

Elephant on cumulus cloud - Len Academy

A medium-sized cumulus cloud has a weight of about 80 adult elephants.

You can think of cumulus cloud as a detached, individual, cauliflower-shaped cloud often seen in fair weather conditions

Leaning Tower of Pisa - Len Academy

The reason the Leaning Tower of Pisa is tilted is the same reason it's still standing

One quarter of an apple is filled with air and that's why they float in water

Alfred Noble - Len Academy

The Nobel price was named after its founder, Alfred Noble. He is a Swedish, born on October 21, 1833; and was the inventor of dynamite. He was also a a famous scientist and a successful business man.

Glass Ball - Len Academy

Glass balls bounce higher than rubber balls

Every planet has its own unique gravitational force. For instance, Mars has a gravity of 3.711 m/s2 while earth’s gravitational force is 9.807m/s2.

When two metals are put together in space, they will stick together as if they are welded. This phenomenon is called cold welding

The fastest animal on land is cheetah. It can reach a maximum speed of about 113km per hour.


Notable points in Physics

The Standard International (SI) unit for density is kilogram per cubic metre (Kg/m3).

The table below shows various substances with their densities:

Substance

Density (Kg/m3)

Helium

0.179

Air (1atm and 20oC)

1.20

Bamboo Wood

400

 Ethanol

810

Methylated Spirit

800

Benzene

900

Paraffin Wax

900

Ice

920

Water (Fresh Water)

1000


Please read on density here

Force can be balanced or unbalanced.

When forces from different directions act on an object and consequently bring about the object's motion, then such forces are unbalanced.

Conversely, if theses forces bring about zero motion (static position or no movement) on the object of reference, then it's a balanced force.

In summary,

  • An apple hanging on a tree (without any form of movement) has a balanced force.

  • An apple falling from a tree has an unbalanced force.

If one covers a distance of 10,000 meters in 50 seconds and another covers the same distance in 5,000 seconds, we can conclude that the first person has a greater speed because he covered the same distance at a lesser time.

  • Speed is defined as distance travelled per unit of time. It can also be defined as the rate of change of distance.

Speed = distance/Time

Speed is a scalar quantity since it has only magnitude. Speed does not have a direction.

In physics, motion is defined as a change in the position of an object with reference to time.

Although we sometimes sit or stand in a fixed position, that doesn’t mean motion isn’t taking place. The fact that the earth is constantly rotating implies that we are indirectly moving along with it. We can thus say that motion can be relative to some frame of reference.

In the above paragraph, the earth (constantly rotating along its axis) is our frame of reference and everything present on earth is in motion (with regard to earth as a frame of reference).

Please read on the concepts of motion and speed here

Heat is a form of energy. It cannot be lost according to the first law of Thermodynamics; rather it will be transferred. The first and second laws of thermodynamics are stated below:

  • Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can be transformed or converted from one form to another.

    1st law of thermodynamics


  • In the course of energy transfer, some energy is lost in the form of heat to the surroundings.

    2nd law of Thermodynamics

Please read on the concept of heat transfer here