Can you have negative acceleration?

In summary: It is simply a term used to describe an acceleration that is in the opposite direction of the velocity. So, when someone says there is no such thing as negative acceleration, they are incorrect. Negative acceleration is a real and valid concept in physics. In summary, negative acceleration does exist and it is simply a term used to describe an acceleration that is in the opposite direction of the velocity. This is a valid concept in physics.
  • #1
Josh S Thompson
111
4
Someone told me there is no such thing as negative acceleration and I did not believe them.

They said its called deceleration and is not considered negative acceleration.

Is this true and why?
 
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  • #2
Acceleration is a vector. That means it has a magnitude and a direction. If we have an acceleration vector pointing in a positive direction, as determined by our coordinate system, then the acceleration is positive. If it points in a negative direction as determined by our coordinate system, then the acceleration is negative.

Deceleration is a not formally used in science. Any change in velocity is simply called acceleration, regardless of whether the acceleration is positive or negative. In every day language deceleration is used to describe an acceleration that slows your speed down (speed is the magnitude of velocity). This means that deceleration is simply acceleration that points in the opposite direction as velocity.

In short, yes, there is such a thing as negative acceleration.
 
  • #3
Drakkith said:
Acceleration is a vector. That means it has a magnitude and a direction. If we have an acceleration vector pointing in a positive direction, as determined by our coordinate system, then the acceleration is positive. If it points in a negative direction as determined by our coordinate system, then the acceleration is negative.

Deceleration is a not formally used in science. Any change in velocity is simply called acceleration, regardless of whether the acceleration is positive or negative. In every day language deceleration is used to describe an acceleration that slows your speed down (speed is the magnitude of velocity). This means that deceleration is simply acceleration that points in the opposite direction as velocity.

In short, yes, there is such a thing as negative acceleration.
Agreed,
I knew there is negative acceleration
 

Related to Can you have negative acceleration?

1. Can an object have negative acceleration?

Yes, an object can have negative acceleration. This means that the object is slowing down in the direction of motion. It could also be accelerating in the opposite direction of its motion.

2. What causes negative acceleration?

Negative acceleration is caused by a force acting in the opposite direction of an object's motion. This force could be friction, air resistance, or a person pushing against the object.

3. How is negative acceleration different from positive acceleration?

Negative acceleration is different from positive acceleration because it is in the opposite direction of an object's motion. Positive acceleration means that the object is speeding up in the direction of motion.

4. Can an object with negative acceleration ever come to a stop?

Yes, an object with negative acceleration can come to a stop. This occurs when the negative acceleration is strong enough to cancel out the object's initial motion and bring it to a complete stop.

5. Is negative acceleration always bad?

No, negative acceleration is not always bad. In fact, it is necessary for objects to slow down or come to a stop. Negative acceleration can also be used to control and change the direction of an object's motion, such as when a car brakes to make a turn.

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