To understand the concept of constant acceleration, it is necessary that we first clearly know what each of the words that make up the expression refers to. Acceleration, which comes from the Latin word acceleratĭo, refers to the act and the result of accelerating (increasing speed, granting speed). Constant, on the other hand, is what has constancy (perseverance or certainty).
From these definitions of Digopaul, we can already advance with the idea of constant acceleration. For acceleration to exist, a body must change its travel speed. Acceleration reflects how speed changes over a certain period of time.
Suppose a car traveling 100 kilometers per hour reaches a speed of 120 kilometers per hour ten minutes later. Said vehicle had an acceleration of 20 kilometers per hour in a span of ten minutes.
It is impossible to keep this acceleration constant since, by increasing its speed by 20 kilometers per hour every ten minutes, the car would soon reach its maximum speed (it could not go faster). Furthermore, a motorist can never increase his speed steadily (i.e. apply constant acceleration to the vehicle) as he must brake to avoid colliding with other cars or to stay off the road on a curve, for example.
Speed, which reflects how long it takes to travel a distance, can be constant. A person who walks on the beach always at the same pace is likely to maintain a constant speed until they decide to stop.
To find cases of constant acceleration, we can refer to an object in free fall, the speed of which can increase until it reaches the surface. The acceleration that intervenes in this case is the force of gravity, which constantly modifies the speed of the body, causing it to fall towards the earth faster and faster. A general formula that we can use to find out the position on the y- axis of a body in constant acceleration can be seen in the second image.
This can be studied from the complexity of physics, in order to analyze various phenomena in a complementary way, but it can also be applied in areas outside of science, such as animation. In a cartoon, a computer-generated graphics movie, or a video game, for example, applying concepts from physics is necessary to create believable scenes, especially if the content is focused on action.
When a character jumps, there are two main phases of their animation: their elevation gain, which is limited by various factors until the force that propels them upward is nullified; its descent, where the concept of constant acceleration can be seen precisely. The same happens if it is dropped from a structure, since the force of gravity will modify its speed in each frame until the body collides with the ground and the fall stops.
Free fall is an example of uniformly accelerated rectilinear motion (which stands for MRUA), which is also known as uniformly varied rectilinear motion (or MRUV); It is a phenomenon in physics that describes the movement of a mobile on a straight path while it is exposed to constant acceleration.
It is important to note that MRUA is one of the special cases of the so-called uniformly accelerated movement (MUA), which is defined as follows: any movement that causes an object to experience acceleration and maintain its constant direction and magnitude at over time, without losing firmness.
In addition to free fall, another example of movement in which constant acceleration is seen is that of a particle that leaves rest to begin to submit to a constant force that accelerates it.