Does acceleration go to zero instantaneously?

In summary, the conversation discusses whether the acceleration of an object would instantaneously drop to zero if the force acting on it is removed. The speaker raises the issue of the acceleration line becoming a constant, non-differentiable function on the graph, and questions the possibility of instantaneous force removal. Mathematically, this is possible with a step function, but in reality, objects are not rigid and forces do not change instantaneously due to electromagnetic interactions.
  • #1
1
0
Here's the scenario: If a force is accelerating an object at a constant rate, and force is removed, does the acceleration instantaneously go to zero? The problem i see with that is that on the graph, the acceleration line would be constant, horizontal, and then when the force is removed to would drop vertically down to zero. Thus, the line is no longer a function. Also the rate of change of the acceleration, or jerk, would not be able to be found since the graph is not differentiable at that point. So is it possible to remove a force instantly? And in a perfect situation, if you could what would the acceleration do? Does anything truly happen instantaneously?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Mathematically, the answer is yes. You're describing a step function. In reality, objects are not rigid and interact via electromagnetism, so forces don't do step changes.
 
  • Like
Likes sophiecentaur, Chestermiller, anorlunda and 1 other person

1. What is acceleration?

Acceleration is the rate of change of an object's velocity over time. It is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction.

2. Can acceleration go to zero instantaneously?

No, acceleration cannot go to zero instantaneously. In order for acceleration to change, there must be a force acting on the object. Instantaneous changes in acceleration are physically impossible.

3. Why is it important to understand acceleration?

Understanding acceleration is important in many scientific fields such as physics and engineering. It helps us understand how objects move and how forces affect their motion.

4. Is acceleration always constant?

No, acceleration is not always constant. It can change over time depending on the forces acting on an object. For example, an object can have a constant velocity, but still experience changes in acceleration due to changes in direction.

5. How is acceleration measured?

Acceleration is typically measured in meters per second squared (m/s^2) or feet per second squared (ft/s^2). It can be measured using various tools such as accelerometers or by analyzing an object's position and velocity over time using mathematical equations.

Suggested for: Does acceleration go to zero instantaneously?

Replies
3
Views
607
Replies
6
Views
778
Replies
4
Views
541
Replies
6
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
717
Replies
9
Views
639
Back
Top