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IP2.6.6 Calculating acceleration and distance travelled from a vt graph © Oxford University Press 2011 Calculating acceleration and distance travelled from a vt graph

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IP2.6.6 Calculating acceleration and distance travelled from a vt graph © Oxford University Press 2011 The slope or gradient of a velocity–time graph is the change in velocity divided by the change in time. This is acceleration. The steeper the slope, the greater the acceleration. Remember: when the line is horizontal the velocity is constant there is no acceleration. The gradient of a horizontal line is 0! When the graph slopes downwards to the right because the object is slowing down, the acceleration is negative. We also say that the gradient is negative.

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IP2.6.6 Calculating acceleration and distance travelled from a vt graph © Oxford University Press 2011 The slope or gradient of a velocity–time graph is the change in velocity divided by the change in time. This is acceleration. You can calculate the acceleration by working out the gradient of a velocity–time graph. The gradient is given by the equation: gradient (acceleration) = This is the same as the equation for acceleration: a =

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IP2.6.6 Calculating acceleration and distance travelled from a vt graph © Oxford University Press 2011 It is also very useful to know that the area under a velocity–time graph is equal to the distance travelled. Remember: in order to work out the distance, split up the velocity–time graph into regular shapes like rectangles and triangles. Calculate the area of each shape and then add them together to get the total distance travelled.

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