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

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8answers
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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 ...
25
votes
10answers
4k views

Why is acceleration expressed as m/s/s?

I'm a philosophy student (I, regrettably, don't know calculus or much physics). Last year I spent some time learning how work, power, speed, velocity, energy, force, and acceleration relate. But I was ...
13
votes
4answers
479 views

Is there an easy way to show that $x^2-t^2=1/g^2$ for a (relativistic) body undergoing acceleration g?

A professor asked me about the (c=1) equation: $$x^2 - t^2 = 1/g^2$$ which I used in a paper. Or with $c$: $$x^2 - (ct)^2 = c^4/g^2.$$ I told him that it was the exact equation of motion for a ...
13
votes
1answer
284 views

Do accelerated charges radiate or not?

This questions has been asked all over the net (here included) but I can't find a satisfactory answer or discussion. Some say it does not radiate if the acceleration is caused by a uniform gravity ...
12
votes
7answers
4k 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?
11
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1answer
1k 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?
10
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5answers
3k 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 ...
10
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4answers
3k views

Acceleration of two falling objects with identical form and air drag but different masses

I have a theoretical question that has been bugging me and my peers for weeks now - and we have yet to settle on a concrete answer. Imagine two balloons, one is filled with air, one with concrete. ...
10
votes
1answer
749 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
803 views

How do I calculate the distance a ship will take to stop?

I am a River Pilot and drive ships for a living. These ships are very large and range up to 160,000 Metric Tons. I am trying to figure out how to calculate the distance to stopping. I have a basic ...
9
votes
3answers
503 views

How do we explain accelerated motion in Newtonian physics and in modern physics?

Maybe my question will seem stupid, but I am not a physicist so I have some problems understanding a classic Newtonian experiment: in the bucket experiment, why does he have to introduce the absolute ...
8
votes
2answers
637 views

Non-Constant Acceleration due to Gravity

Recently, I had the first physics lab for my university physics course. This lab was fairly simple, as we were merely using a computer and a distance sensor to graph the position, velocity, and ...
8
votes
2answers
400 views

Is acceleration an average?

Background I'm new to physics and math. I stopped studying both of them in high-school, and I wish I hadn't. I'm pursuing study in both topics for personal interest. Today, I'm learning about ...
8
votes
3answers
397 views

Whether $m$ in $E=mc^{2}$ and $F=ma$ are both relativistic mass?

I know that $m$ in $E=mc^{2}$ is the relativistic mass, but can $m$ in $F=ma$ can also be relativistic? If the answer is yes, then can you tell me whether this equation is valid $E=\frac{F}{a}c^{2}$? ...
8
votes
2answers
252 views

What is the physical meaning of $|f''(\xi )|\leq\frac{4(f(b)-f(a))}{(b-a)^{2}}$ where $f(t)$ is position as a function of time?

Here is the full problem: I was able to prove the given expression; but the interpretation part is giving me a bit of trouble. Here is my interpretation: The average acceleration in $(a,b)$, is ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
136 views

Is there a limit to acceleration?

As we all know the speed of light is the limit at which energy/matter can travel through our universe. My question being: is there a similar limit for acceleration? Is there a limit to how quickly ...
8
votes
4answers
334 views

Are smaller soap bubbles more accelerated by wind?

If you blow a bunch of soap bubbles outside, and a gust of wind hits them, will the bigger ones be more or less accelerated by the wind than the smaller ones? Intuitively, and maybe from remembered ...
7
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
576 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
129 views

The most stable way of standing in a bus

Here's what's bugging me for quite a long time. Imagine the every day situation, that you are standing in a bus with your back on wall having only limited space on the floor and no handle to hold. You ...
7
votes
3answers
587 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Should acceleration be included in state vector of a Kalman filter?

I'm developing (actually adopting existing solution) a Kalman filter to model motion of a vehicle (UAV or automobile). The state vector will include position, velocity, and, possibly, acceleration. ...
6
votes
8answers
2k 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
6answers
602 views

If an object moved 5 meters in a second, how can its velocity be 10 m/s?

I am reading the tutorial on physics classroom.com, and am at Meaning of Slope for a v-t graph. It gives data for an object experiencing an acceleration: This is the corresponding chart for the ...
6
votes
8answers
865 views

Reactionless Drives

According to the third law of motion, you van't have an mass move in a particular direction unless there is a proportional opposite mass/acceleration ratio in the opposite direction. No-one has been ...
6
votes
1answer
531 views

Slinky base does not immediately fall due to gravity

Why does the base of this slinky not fall immediately to gravity. My guess is tension in the springs is a force > mass*gravity but even then it is dumbfounding.
6
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3answers
73 views

Movement in outer space via Newton's law of every action has an equal and opposite reaction

What is more effective for travel in outer space ignoring all other factors like air radiation etc. I have a 10 kg bag of rice would I travel faster throwing the whole bag at once or throwing a grain ...
6
votes
2answers
272 views

Nonuniform acceleration due to rubber rope

What I want: I have a rubber rope which is $5m$ in length when not stressed and is able to stretch about $100\%$ (to $10m$ long). I want to accelerate a constant mass horizontally, which has ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do we weigh less when falling?

I don't want to go to science world to find out because it would be a long round-trip. I understand that acceleration/deceleration would effect the weight and I can also imagine that someone at ...
5
votes
4answers
832 views

How to brake 'beautifully'?

Sometimes when I'm driving my car, I play a "game" against myself in which I try to minimize the deceleration felt by passengers (including myself) while still braking in a reasonable short space. I ...
5
votes
2answers
514 views

relativistic acceleration equation

A Starship is going to accelerate from 0 to some final four-velocity, but it cannot accelerate faster than $g_M$, otherwise it will crush the astronauts. what is the appropiate equation to constraint ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Does velocity or acceleration cause time dilation?

What causes time dilation? Acceleration or velocity? I've seen multiple comments on this forum that assert velocity is the cause, but that doesn't seem right to me. You can't have velocity without ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Measuring acceleration of a bus using water between two sheets of glass

I was riding a bus one day and noticed that the double windows had some water between them. As the bus accelerated, the water collected to the sides, first forming a trapezoid and then a right ...
5
votes
2answers
289 views

Force in Special Relativity

I have a question regarding how force on a body works in the framework of special relativity. As far as I am aware, the equation for force in special relativity is: $$F=m\alpha$$ Where $\alpha$ is the ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

How did Newton find out force has something to do with acceleration?

Its about Newton's second law of motion, $$F=ma.$$ It says the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force and is inversely proportional to the object's mass. Yes I can ...
4
votes
5answers
1k 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, ...
4
votes
6answers
236 views

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

It seems intuitive that $a\; \propto \frac{F}{m}$, but when rewriting this as an equality $a = \frac{F}{m}$, how do we know that the proportionality constant is 1, not some other value?
4
votes
2answers
173 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Convert acceleration as a function of position to acceleration as a function of time?

Suppose I have acceleration defined as a function of position, $a(x)$. How to convert it into a function of time $a(t)$? Please give an example for the case $a(x)= \frac{x}{s^2}$.
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is acceleration an absolute quantity?

I would like to know if acceleration is an absolute quantity, and if so why?
4
votes
4answers
411 views

Gravity from a singularity as distance approaches zero

If you had a singularity (that had mass but took up no space), what would happen to the acceleration of an object as it approached this singularity? I would assume that it would be infinite, since as ...
4
votes
3answers
769 views

Infinite acceleration?

Why is acceleration regulated by mass? In a frictionless environment, why doesn't an object move at infinite acceleration if force is applied on it? Force causes movement, so unless there is an ...
4
votes
4answers
967 views

Example in the book: A simple accelerometer

A simple accelerometer You tape one end of a piece of string to the ceiling light of your car and hang a key with mass m to the other end (Figure 5.7). A protractor taped to the light allows you ...
4
votes
2answers
278 views

A simple thought experiment about traversable wormholes

Let's say I have a tube, of large radius (about 5 - 7 meters in diameter), with traversable wormholes at the ends. The wormholes are arranged as such that if something falls inside one hole from ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Total time taken for an accelerating frame in special relativity [duplicate]

How does one derive the equation for the total time traveled in a constantly accelerating frame? I found some help at this question: Special Relativity and Constant Acceleration But the information ...
4
votes
2answers
192 views

Did people realize that gravity accelerated things before Einstein's elevator thought experiment?

I'm reading about the (very near) equivalence of gravitational mass and inertial mass in my undergrad GR course, and the text (Lambourne) describes this equivalence as the inspiration for Einstein's ...
3
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5answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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.