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Homework Help: Velocity and Acceleration with SMH

  1. Nov 29, 2013 #1
    This is not a homework question; it's conceptual question.


    Why is velocity 0 when acceleration is at its max? I don't understand how that could be when acceleration is a measure of velocity over time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2013 #2


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    Acceleration is a measure of the change in velocity over the time interval during which the velocity changes. When the block reaches maximum displacement, is the velocity changing?
  4. Nov 30, 2013 #3
    It may be helpful to first think about why displacement is 0 when velocity is max.

    Edit: Also consider why acceleration is 0 when velocity is max.
  5. Nov 30, 2013 #4
    Also think about the time dimension. v=0 only momentarily, when the object cannot go any further and is about to change direction, and starts to travel to the other direction. Without any acceleration the velocity will remain zero and never change, Newton's first law.
  6. Nov 30, 2013 #5
    Can this better be explained using potential and kinetic energy? Like how a pendulum's velocity is fastest at the center and slowest at the two peaks?
  7. Nov 30, 2013 #6
    Yes that is another way of looking at it. But to explain the acceleration you need to think how the change in velocity occurs. After it becomes zero, momentarily, it starts to go the other direction, without acceleration the velocity will not change.
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