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I have the following physics formula:

$$d = \frac{1}{2} at^2$$

where d is equal to half (at) squared


  • d is distance
  • a is acceleration
  • t is time

I need to simplify this to get the acceleration. Can anyone think of an easy way to do this? I have been looking around but can't find a simple answer.

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closed as off topic by Qmechanic, Ron Maimon, David Z May 2 '12 at 0:32

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Dear Samantha, the answer may be obtained by generalizing the recipe of Prof Chelsea that she applied to the velocity: youtube.com/watch?v=Qhm7-LEBznk –  Luboš Motl Apr 30 '12 at 15:10
Hi Samantha, I've edited your post to make the equation display properly. Right click the equation and choose "Show math as/TeX Commands" to see how this is done. –  John Rennie Apr 30 '12 at 15:11
Dear @Mike, I agree with you it's probably an honest question. However, it doesn't mean that it's a good question. There is a "downvote button" next to the question that is, in my opinion, designed for situations such as this one which is why I have pressed it, too. I will do the same with the answers because I don't think it's right for users to earn "reputation" by answering questions of this caliber which reduce the quality of this server. Otherwise, while my comment was a semi-joke, I am serious that the basic mathematical incapability in the video is the same as one shown in this question –  Luboš Motl Apr 30 '12 at 16:25
Dear @Mike, a good experience and a helpful attitude, thanks for that. I wasn't meaning to express any general personal feelings; Samantha may be great. But I simply believe that learning how to multiply an equation by $2/t^2$ is among the skills one should learn if she wants to avoid ridicule on physics forums. –  Luboš Motl Apr 30 '12 at 18:27
@lubos I feel your frustrated pain, I really do and you can have my shoulder to cry on - especially after they've closed theoretical physics stack exchange. –  Physiks lover Apr 30 '12 at 19:41
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1 Answer 1

If you just solve for the acceleration you get:

$$ a = \frac{2d}{t^2} $$

However I note you have a high reputation on Stack Overflow so I'm guessing your question may be more complex than this. Were you looking for ways to calculate the acceleration from arbitrary distance/time data?

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Thanks very much for the answer. –  Samantha J Apr 30 '12 at 16:35
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