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Encyclopedia > Acceleration
Acceleration is the time rate of change of velocity and/or direction, and at any point on a velocity-time graph, it is given by the slope of the tangent to the curve at that point.

## Contents

After completing his theory of special relativity, Albert Einstein realized that forces felt by objects undergoing constant proper acceleration are indistinguishable from those in a gravitational field. This was the basis for his development of general relativity, a relativistic theory of gravity. For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to special relativity. ... â€œEinsteinâ€ redirects here. ... In special relativity, four-acceleration is a four-vector and is defined as the change in four-velocity over the particles proper time: where and and is the Lorentz factor for the speed . ... For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to general relativity. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ...

This is also the basis for the popular Twin paradox, which asks why one twin ages more rapidly when moving away from his sibling at near light-speed and then returning, since the aging twin can say that it is the other twin that was moving. General relativity solved the "why does only one object feel accelerated?" problem which had plagued philosophers and scientists since Newton's time (and caused Newton to endorse absolute space). In special relativity, only inertial frames of reference (non-accelerated frames) can be used and are equivalent; general relativity considers all frames, even accelerated ones, to be equivalent. (The path from these considerations to the full theory of general relativity is traced in the Introduction to general relativity.) In his famous work on Special Relativity in 1905, Albert Einstein predicted that when two clocks were brought together and synchronised, and then one was moved away and brought back, the clock which had undergone the traveling would be found to be lagging behind the clock which had stayed put. ... For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to general relativity. ... An inertial frame of reference, or inertial reference frame, is one in which Newtons first and second laws of motion are valid. ... Newtonâ€™s conception and quantification of gravitation held until the beginning of the 20th century, when Albert Einstein extended the special relativity to form the general relativity (GR) theory. ...

## Formula

The formula for acceleration is $frac{V_{final}-V_{initial}}{Delta t}$

(Final Velocity - Initial Velocity / Total Time Taken)

## References

• Serway, Raymond A.; Jewett, John W. (2004). Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 6th ed., Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0-534-40842-7.
• Tipler, Paul (2004). Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Mechanics, Oscillations and Waves, Thermodynamics, 5th ed., W. H. Freeman. ISBN 0-7167-0809-4.

Results from FactBites:

 34. A Law of Acceleration (1904). Adams, Henry. 1918. The Education of Henry Adams (2546 words) Rapid as this rate of acceleration in volume seems, it may be tested in a thousand ways without greatly reducing it. On the human mind as a moving body, the break in acceleration in the middle-ages is only apparent; the attraction worked through shifting forms of force, as the sun works by light or heat, electricity, gravitation, or what not, on different organs with different sensibilities, but with invariable law. The law of acceleration was definite, and did not require ten years more study except to show whether it held good.
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