The term acceleration comes from acceleratĭo, a Latin word. It is about the act and the consequence of accelerating (increasing speed, or granting speed). Average, according to Digopaul, can refer to what is located in the middle of something or in an intermediate space.
In the field of physics, speed is a vector that changes direction and modulus as the body progresses. The acceleration of a body, on the other hand, appears when its velocity is modified, whether a change in direction or in the modulus of the vector representing it takes place.
As for the average acceleration that exists between two points, it is calculated by dividing the change in speed and the time that elapses between these points. To construct the mean acceleration equation, therefore, we need to know the following values: the initial velocity; the final speed; the initial time; the end time.
Having these data at our disposal, it is possible to obtain the respective variations (speed and time), for which we simply must subtract the initial value from the end. The last step is to divide the speed variation by the time variation.
Note that the variation is represented by the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, delta, in its capital form, which is triangular in shape. In the case of velocity, since it is a vector, a small arrow should be drawn above the variable v. The image shows the complete equation, with these symbols for a correct reading.
Suppose that a car passes through point A at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour and, two hours later, passes through point B at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour. Taking into account the equation mentioned in the previous paragraph, the average acceleration arises from the division of 50 kilometers per hour (the change in speed) by two hours (the time it took to move from the first point to the second point). This average acceleration, therefore, is 25 km / h squared, revealing that the car varied in speed by 25 km / h every hour.
As you can see, the average acceleration refers to how the speed changes per unit of time. Different is the case of average speed, which measures how long it takes for a body to travel a given distance. Taking the previous example, it would be necessary to know how far point A was from point B in order to calculate the average speed, since we know that the travel time was two hours.
It should be mentioned that the acceleration is calculated in meters per second squared, as indicated in the International System of Units. Since this is not easy for non-physicists to understand, especially due to the presence of potentiation (a process in mathematics that consists of raising an expression or a quantity to a certain power), let’s see the following example: if a object moves with an acceleration of 2 meters per second squared, it is correct to say that its speed varies by 2 meters per second, every second.
The concept of average acceleration can be used to analyze a large number of situations, especially in the world of sports, where the human being challenges himself to develop his physical abilities to the maximum, since for this he needs to know in depth the tools it has to relate to the environment. The same occurs in the field of motorsport and computer simulation, although in the latter case, knowledge is used to recreate a phenomenon, instead of starting from it to arrive at analysis.