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Homework Help: Finding the acceleration of a car based on a velocity vs time plot

  1. Sep 3, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations
    Unsure, maybe v2-v1/t2-t1?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I assumed taking the difference between the final point in the graph and the first one and got 1.53m/s2 as an answer, but I'm not sure at all. Should i take the differences between all the gears and then average them?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2012 #2
    Remember that acceleration is the slope on a velocity/time graph. You've got the right equation, average acceleration is Δv/Δt. If you found the slope between the first point and the final point, you'd find the average acceleration across all 5 gears. However, the question asks for the average acceleration in specific gears.

    For part a, for example, which asks for the average acceleration in second gear, you'll want to make your initial point at the start of 2nd gear (at the first flat spot) and your final point at the end of 2nd gear (the 2nd flat spot). The slope between those two points will give the average acceleration in gear 2.
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