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Nathanael

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The slope of the velocity-time graph represents the acceleration of the object (in this case, it's slowing down).

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Nathanael

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So if the height of the graph is negative, (in other words, if the graph is below the time axis) then the velocity is in the negative direction (a.k.a. "backwards")

If the slope is positive, that means there is acceleration in the positive ("forwards") direction. If the slope is negative, then the acceleration is in the "backwards" direction. If the slope is zero, then there is no acceleration.

To summarize:

The height of the graph is the velocity, and the slope of the graph is acceleration.

The direction of the slope (either positive or negative) tells you the direction of the acceleration.

So if you're moving in the positive direction with a positive slope, then you will be speeding up

(you will be increasing your speed in the positive direction)

If you're moving in the negative direction with a negative slope, then you will still be speeding up

(but you will be increasing your speed in the negative direction)

If you're moving in the positive direction with a negative slope (or if you're moving in the negative direction with a positive slope) then you will be slowing down.

To summarize:

If the graph is sloping towards the "zero line" then you are slowing down.

If it is sloping away from the zero line, you are speeding up.

"Positive" and "negative" are just directions.

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