Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Average Acceleration

  1. Oct 22, 2006 #1
    Hi, this may seem like a silly question, but I'm gunna ask it anyway...

    I have the ff. data for acceleration:


    When I calculate the average acceleration, would it be the sum divided by 6 or would it be the sum divided by 5? That is, should I include the "0" in calculating my average?

    Thanks in advance~
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Since 0 is a value as any other one, you must include it.
  4. Oct 22, 2006 #3

  5. Oct 22, 2006 #4
    Hmm.. sorry, follow-up question...

    What if I'm calculating my average acceleration for gravity, do I need to include the "0" then?

    It's just that when I didn't include the "0" on my calculations, it was nearer the true value of "g" (9.81)
    But when I included zero in calculating my average, it was a little far off....

    ps: i'm doing my lab on calculating "g" free-falling object
  6. Oct 22, 2006 #5


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Hm, in that case, if 0 is the value that was attained while the object was being held (which is obvious), then you shouldn't include it. (Unless I'm missing something.)
  7. Oct 22, 2006 #6
    Oh sorry, I guess you are right! Actually, the Time column shows "0" but the Acceleration column shows blank (so was the Velocity & Distance columns for the first row). I just assumed initial Acceleration will be 0 and include it on calculating the average acceleration, when in fact like you said it shouldn't be included cuz the object was being held initially, before I dropped it.

    Gah.. I feel stupid! Thanks for your help :)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook