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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

Questions on Physics Stack Exchange are expected to relate to physics within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Dear Samantha, the answer may be obtained by generalizing the recipe of Prof Chelsea that she applied to the velocity: – 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

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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