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Homework Help: Acceleration-Time Graph

  1. Mar 15, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    (a) What does the area under the acceleration-time graph represent? (Hint: it is NOT velocity or speed).

    (b) What is a particle doing when the graph is above or below the axis? (Hint: a graph below the axis does NOT necessarily mean deceleration).

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Can someone explain these two for me, I am very confused.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2010 #2


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    Homework Helper

    The area under the acceleration-time graph = a*Δt = ........?
  4. Mar 15, 2010 #3
    v? but the questions says "it is NOT velocity or speed"! :confused:
  5. Mar 15, 2010 #4
    The area under the acceleration time graph along a given time interval is the change in velocity along that interval, and a negative acceleration means that the particle's velocity becomes more negative. Negative acceleration may not necessarily be deceleration, since the particle's velocity could be in the negative direction itself, thus a negative acceleration speeds up the particle! A positive acceleration just means that the particle's velocity becomes more positive with respect to time
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