# What does the total acceleration from a linear accelerometer tell me?

Im trying to measure the acceleration of a heavy bag in martial arts when it is hit. If I am using an linear accelerometer that is strapped to the heavy bag and tells me x, y, z and the total values of acceleration, which would I want to use to find the acceleration of the heavy bag? I'm assuming I'd want to use the total acceleration, but what exactly does the total acceleration from a linear accelerometer tell me?

• The acceleration of the bag in space, along its motion (which also can be decomposed along xyz). – Alchimista Oct 11 at 10:47
• $x$, $y$, and $z$ are the components of a vector. Sounds like you want to compute the magnitude (a.k.a., "euclidean norm") of the vector. – Solomon Slow Oct 11 at 16:30
• So Alchimista, just to clarify as I am easily confused. The total linear acceleration would be the acceleration of the bag due to the force being exerted on it? – Ethan Wood Oct 11 at 18:45