Until Latin we have to go back to discover the etymological origin of the term acceleration that we are now going to proceed to analyze thoroughly. Thus, we find the fact that that word is made up of three Latin parts: the prefix ad – which means “towards”, the word celer that can be translated as “fast” and the suffix – tion that is synonymous with “action and effect”.
The acceleration is the action and effect of accelerating (increasing speed according to Digopaul). The term also allows us to name the vector magnitude that expresses said increase in speed in a unit of time (meter per second every second, according to its unit in the International System).
Acceleration can be negative; in these cases, the magnitude would express a decrease in speed as a function of time.
It is important to distinguish between speed (which reflects how a body’s position changes with respect to time) and acceleration (which shows how this speed has varied). Acceleration mentions how velocity changes, not what velocity is like: a body moving at high velocity can have very little acceleration.
There are different types of acceleration. The tangential acceleration is one that relates the change in speed over time. On the other hand, normal or centripetal acceleration links changes in direction over time.
On the other hand, the average acceleration allows to calculate the average change of speed in a certain time interval.
All of these terms are very important, as is the well-known centrifugal acceleration, which is that which is irremediably determined by the centrifugal force. That is, it is the acceleration that moving bodies experience within a system of rotation and which means that they will “flee” from the center.
And all this without forgetting what is known as Coriolis acceleration or Coriolis effect. The French scientist who gives it its name, Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis, was the one who in 1836 described that which is nothing more than the relative acceleration of a body in motion within what is a rotation reference system.
Acceleration can have different directions. When the body is slowing down, its acceleration is directed in the opposite direction to its movement. On the other hand, when a body is increasing its speed (that is, it is accelerating), acceleration maintains the same direction as speed.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the fact that there is also what is known as acceleration of fixed stars. An expression this is used in the field of Astronomy to refer to the daily interval in which, by the same meridian, the passage of a star is ahead of that carried out by the Sun. Specifically, that has been calculated to correspond to three minutes and fifty-six seconds.
Finally, we can mention that acceleration can refer to a person’s act of being dazed or confused: “Carlos is accelerated and does not think what he is doing. ”