The rate of change of velocity of a body per unit of time.

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151
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9answers
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Don't heavier objects actually fall faster because they exert their own gravity?

The common understanding is that, setting air resistance aside, all objects dropped to Earth fall at the same rate. This is often demonstrated through the thought experiment of cutting a large object ...
5
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6answers
6k views

Do photons have acceleration?

Photons travel at the fastest speed in our universe, the speed of light. Do photons have acceleration?
6
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5answers
56k views

Why do two bodies of different masses fall at the same rate (in the absence of air resistance)?

I'm far from being a physics expert and figured this would be a good place to ask a beginner question that has been confusing me for some time. According to Galileo, two bodies of different masses, ...
8
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5answers
41k views

How to get distance when acceleration is not constant?

I have a background in calculus but don't really know anything about physics. Forgive me if this is a really basic question. The equation for distance of an accelerating object with constant ...
49
votes
4answers
10k views

If I'm floating in space and I turn on a flashlight, will I accelerate?

Photons have no mass but they can push things, as evidenced by laser propulsion. Can photons push the source which is emitting them? If yes, will a more intense flashlight accelerate me more? Does ...
1
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1answer
919 views

Newtons Cradle, Collision Theory

It has come to the point in my computing program now where I have 5 swinging pendulums that are all modified at once by slider values. These values are drawn onto the from and passed through the class ...
0
votes
2answers
489 views

Tangential acceleration in circular motion?

A lot of my problems have objects moving in circular paths with tangential and normal components of acceleration. If the tangential component is non-zero though, the speed is changing so the radius ...
8
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3answers
17k views

How can an object's instantaneous speed be zero and it's instantaneous acceleration be nonzero?

I'm studying for my upcoming physics course and ran across this concept - I'd love an explanation.
4
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1answer
4k views

Is acceleration due to gravity constant?

I was taught in school that acceleration due to gravity is constant. But recently, when I checked Physics textbook, I noted that $$F = \dfrac{G \cdot m_1 \cdot m_2}{r^2} $$ So, as the body falls ...
6
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7answers
1k views

Physical intuition for higher order derivatives

Could somebody give me an intuitive physical interpretation of higher order derivatives (from 2 and so on), that is not related to position - velocity - acceleration - jerk - etc?
7
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8answers
999 views

How do we know that $F = ma$, not $F = k \cdot ma$

It seems intuitive that $a\; \propto \frac{F}{m}$, as the greater the force that is applied on an object, the greater its acceleration will be. Inversely, the greater the mass of the object, the ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Classical car collision

I have a very confusing discussion with a friend of mine. 2 cars ($car_a$ and $car_b$) of the same mass $m$ are on a collision course. Both cars travel at $50_\frac{km}{h}$ towards each other. They ...
2
votes
4answers
16k views

Free falling of object with no air resistance [duplicate]

Why does an object with smaller mass hits the ground at same time compared to object with greater mass? I understand the acceleration due to gravity of earth will be same but won't the object with ...
18
votes
8answers
10k views

Would it help if you jump inside a free falling elevator?

Imagine you're trapped inside a free falling elevator. Would you decrease your impact impulse by jumping during the fall? When?
13
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4answers
7k views

Acceleration in special relativity

I am currently studying the motion of relativistic charged particles in electromagnetic fields. More exactly, we first derived the equation of motion in the 4-vector formalism. I was a bit confused ...
8
votes
3answers
211 views

How to describe arbitrary accelerations in special relativity

Describing acceleration in special relativity is in principle straightforward, and for simple cases the resulting transformations are simple. Examples include circular motion and constant acceleration ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

The acceleration vector of a simple pendulum

In this picture the acceleration vector $\vec{a}$ points upward when the pendulum is halfway Click To see animated GIF But according to this picture, the force acts tangentially: Which means the ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What came first, Rice Crispy or “Snap,” “Crackle,” and “Pop”? [closed]

The fourth, fifth, and sixth derivatives of position are called "Snap" "Crackle" and "Pop". What came first, the rice crispy characters, or the physics units?
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I calculate the (apparent) gravitational pull with General Relativity?

Assume a static metric with (known) components $g_{\mu\nu}$. I'd like to know what is the gravitational pull $g$ of a test particle placed on an arbitrary point $X$. The gravitational pull being ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Integrating radial free fall in Newtonian gravity

I thought this would be a simple question, but I'm having trouble figuring it out. Not a homework assignment btw. I am a physics student and am just genuinely interested in physics problems involving ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

When photons are emitted, do they accelerate to reach the speed of light? [duplicate]

Photons are considered mass-less particle with a specific velocity but according to the electromagnetic theory, a photon is considered to have both energy and momentum. So what happen when they are ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Relativistic centripetal force

The thought randomly occurred to me that a circular particle accelerator would have to exert a lot of force in order to maintain the curvature of the trajectory. Many accelerators move particles at ...
7
votes
3answers
781 views

Dark Energy / Accelerating universe: naive question

Folks, I have a naive question regarding the subject of dark energy and an accelerating universe: From what I understand/read, it seems that the further we look out into deep space, the faster the ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does accelerating electron emits photons? [duplicate]

I have read that accelerating or oscillating electron emits photons. But why and how does it so? And why only photons? There are other bosons like gluons, W and Z bosons, so why does electron emit ...
7
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5answers
1k views

High speed does not kill. Does acceleration do it ? or jerk?

In a recent question the OP asked why high speed will not kill us. The accepted answer, highly upvoted, stated very first that Speed doesn't kill us, but acceleration does. The second answer (...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why doesn't gravity speed up light?

We know that gravity speeds up a body; for instance, a meteor which enters the earth gets constantly accelerated up by earth's gravity. And from relativity we know that light bends near a massive body,...
5
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3answers
252 views

How does dark energy allow the universes expansion to accelerate?

I was wondering how dark energy is effecting the rate at which the universes expansion occurs.
5
votes
3answers
181 views

Velocity in a turning reference frame

I often see the relation that $\vec v=\vec v_0+ \vec \omega \times \vec r$ in a turning reference frame, but where does it actually come from and how do I arrive at the acceleration being $$\vec a=\...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Kinematics with non constant acceleration

A particle experiences an acceleration described by $$ a=kx^{-2} $$ where x is the displacement from the origin and k is an arbitrary constant. To what value does the velocity v of the particle ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Linear motion with variable acceleration

Consider the following problem I pull a mass m resting at x = 0 on a frictionless table connected to a spring with some k by an amount A and let it go. What will be its speed at x=0? I know how to ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How does anything move? [duplicate]

So in order for two things $A$ and $B$ to move apart, for example, relative to each other, $B$ can be set into motion away from $A$. This means that we have to increase $B$'s velocity and therefore ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Is acceleration relative?

A while back in my Dynamics & Relativity lectures my lecturer mentioned that an object need not be accelerating relative to anything - he said it makes sense for an object to just be accelerating. ...
8
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8answers
7k views

Can you completely explain acceleration to me?

I understand what acceleration is, and I know the formula, and I understand it's a vector. I just don't understand how the equation works exactly. I'm kind of picky, I know, but bear with me. ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is acceleration an absolute quantity?

I would like to know if acceleration is an absolute quantity, and if so why?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How much effect does the mass of a bicycle tire have on acceleration?

There are claims often made that, eg, "An ounce of weight at the rims is like adding 7 ounces of frame weight." This is "common knowledge", but a few of us are skeptical, and our crude attempts at ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Explanation for “if all accelerated systems are equivalent, then Euclidean geometry cannot hold in all of them”

I'm doing an EPQ (mini college research paper) on gravity, and I found a site that explained things in simple terms. I am having trouble understanding how Einstein came to his revelation space-time ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

A simple derivation of the Centripetal Acceleration Formula?

Could someone show me a simple and intuitive derivation of the Centripetal Acceleration Formula $a=v^2/r$, preferably one that does not involve calculus or advanced trigonometry?
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Fictitious forces confusion

I have a hard time understanding the subject of fictitious forces. Let's discuss a few examples: 1) I'm sitting inside a vehicle which is accelerating in a straight line. I feel like someone is ...
1
vote
1answer
365 views

Electrons and Magnetism

Electron at rest generates Electric field. Electron moving without acceleration produces electric and magnetic field. Electron moving with acceleration produces electromagnetic waves. Please explain ...
0
votes
3answers
169 views

Fluid filled harmonic oscillator

A vessel (preferably circular) filled with water is accelerating unidirectionally such that the level of water is higher on one end than the other. What I want to know is that if the vessel is ...
6
votes
2answers
159 views

At Interfaces Does Light Have to Accelerate?

First, I'm not sure if photons have to "get up to" the speed of light, or if they are thrown into existence at that speed. I know that they should just be generated moving at their speed, and I know ...
6
votes
5answers
9k views

If a space ship accelerated constantly, would its astronauts constantly feel the forward movement?

I know that if a space ship suddenly traveled very fast, its astronauts would be fly against the back wall, potentially getting hurt. If the space ship suddenly stopped, they would also fly against ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

Neutron star: free fall acceleration

The textbook from which I teach physics at the end of secondary school, has a question about a neutron star: $M_{star}=1.4\cdot M_{sun}$, radius 15km. "Calculate the free fall acceleration at the ...
2
votes
3answers
140 views

Is centripetal acceleration mandatory for circular motion?

If we consider a case where a closed circular wall is present, and inside the boundary, just adjacent to the inner wall, two particles are placed touching the surface of inner boundary such that the ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between negative acceleration and decreasing acceleration?

According to Reisnick and Halliday, retardation is the acceleration in the negative direction of time axis ie. opposite to the motion. Decreasing accleretion is the decrease in the magnitude of time ...
1
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2answers
307 views

How an accelerated object sees another accelerated body in special relativity?

Assume two objects are moving with a constant acceleration $a_1$ and $a_2$, which are the measured accelerations by respective object (or constant force being applied to each of the objects). My ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

In mechanics, is shock really better expressed as jerk instead of acceleration?

Some expensive electronics or mechanical devices are designed to be shock-resistant. However, the manufacturers often market the level of shock-resistance in units of g-force (I know g-force is really ...
6
votes
3answers
999 views

If $F=ma$, how do can we experience both gravity and a normal force even though we are not accelerating

So as I sit in my chair, I experience a gravitational force pushing me into the chair and I'm also experiencing the normal force of the chair pushing back at me so I don't fall. According to Newton's ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Force on rope with accelerating mass on pulley

I have a pretty basic pulley problem where I lack the right start. A child sits on a seat which is held by a rope going to a cable roll (attached to a tree) and back into the kid's hands. When it ...
2
votes
1answer
916 views

Derivation of hyperbolic motion in Special Relativity

My question pertains to the equation of hyperbolic motion in special relativity: $$x^{2} - c^{2}t^{2} = c^{4}/\alpha^{2}.$$ As far as I am aware, this equation is the key to calculating coordinate ...