Acceleration
Pronunciation: /ækˌsɛləˈreɪ ʃən/ Explain
When a car accelerates, it changes speed (or
velocity).
If a car is
going 20 kilometers per hour (kph), and it
accelerates to 30 kph it has changed
speed by 10 kph. Acceleration is measured
in units change in speed (velocity) per unit of time.
 Figure 1: Acceleration 

If, at a point in time, an object
is going 50 meters per second (mps)
and 10 seconds later it is going 60
mps, the object's
average
acceleration is
.
1 m/s^{2} is read as, "One meter per second squared".

Click on the blue point and drag it to change the figure.
As acceleration increases or decreases, what happens to speed and velocity?
Advanced: Why is distance a parabola, speed a slopped line, and acceleration a horizontal line?
 Manipulative 1  Acceleration Created with GeoGebra. 

Take an object is going 70 kph and
10 seconds later it is going 100
kph. Since
hours is not the same unit of measure as seconds, one must first change
the 10 seconds to hours:
So the acceleration is
Acceleration is measured using a
unit
of speed or velocity divided by a unit of time. Speed is measured in distance divided by time.
Putting these together, speed can be measures in unit of distance divided by unit of time
squared. Some of the commonly used measures of acceleration are:
Abbreviation  Unit of measure 
m/h^{2}  miles per hour squared 
k/h^{2}  kilometers per hour squared 
m/s^{2}  meters per second squared 
Table 1: Units of Measure of Acceleration 

More Information
 What is acceleration?. www.khanacademy.org. Kahn Academy. 6/18/2018. https://www.khanacademy.org/science/physics/onedimensionalmotion/accelerationtutorial/a/accelerationarticle.
 McAdams, David E.. Velocity. allmathwords.org. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. 6/19/2018. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/v/velocity.html.
Cite this article as:
McAdams, David E. Acceleration. 7/10/2018. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/a/acceleration.html.
Image Credits
Revision History
6/18/2018: Added word link to velocity, corrected punctuation, added more information. (
McAdams, David E.)
6/12/2018: Removed broken links, changed Geogebra links to work with Geogebra 5, updated license, implemented new markup. (
McAdams, David E.)
12/24/2009: Added References. (
McAdams, David E.)
12/13/2008: Simplified wording. (
McAdams, David E.)
10/5/2008: Expanded 'More Information'. (
McAdams, David E.)
9/16/2008: Corrected math error. (
McAdams, David E.)
6/7/2008: Corrected spelling errors. (
McAdams, David E.)
4/16/2008: Initial version. (
McAdams, David E.)