# Finding the Average acceleration from a table of time vs distance

1. Feb 5, 2010

### H2Owned

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/3598/physicsproblem.png [Broken]

3. The attempt at a solution
I dont know how to aproach it with the given data set.
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
2. Feb 5, 2010

### Stonebridge

Welcome to Physics Forums.

Do you not know how to draw the graph (part 1)? Or is it the constructing of the tangents that is the problem?
You need to give us more detail about the exact difficulty you are having, and to show what you have done so far.

3. Feb 5, 2010

### H2Owned

Drawing the graph isnt difficult, you plot the points and connect the line. The part that i got stuck at was getting the instantaneous velocity. How can you get the derivative of a function at specific points when you dont know what the funcrion is?

4. Feb 5, 2010

### Stonebridge

Drawing the tangent to the curve at a number of points requires a bit of practice.
There is some info here that explains a lot better than I can.
http://cstl.syr.edu/fipse/graphb/Unit8/Unit8a.html [Broken]
The tangent at a point on the curve is the instantaneous value of the rate of change of the function at that point, and is numerically equal to the derivative at that point.
In this case dx/dt. Taking 4 values at different places will give you 4 values for velocity at different times. These values can then be plotted on a v-t graph. The gradient of that graph is acceleration.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
5. Feb 13, 2010

### H2Owned

That link didnt help as i know how to find a tangent at a given point. Now what did help is solving for the quadratic equation that is formed by those dots. I realized that by calculating the quadratic regression, i can get a quadratic formula that holds all of those points.
We are allowed calculators in this class so this website adequately explained how to do it quite clearly.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
6. Feb 14, 2010