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Difference Between Acceleration and Deceleration

Acceleration vs Deceleration

Acceleration is a very important concept in the study of motion in physics and also in daily life and it has become commonplace to use it in our daily conversation. We use it to describe any vehicle or object speeding up as when a car zips past our car and we say that it is accelerating. Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity and it could be positive or negative. When the value is positive, we are dealing with acceleration and when the value is negative, we are dealing with deceleration which is when the speed of the moving object is decreasing. Read on to know the differences between acceleration and deceleration.

Acceleration takes place when the speed of a moving object is increasing, and deceleration is negative acceleration. So when you are driving your car and push the speed paddle you are giving acceleration to the car which means you are speeding up. On the contrary, when you see a person coming in front, or when you see red light at a cross section, you push the brake paddle, you initiate the process of stopping the car. This is when you give deceleration to the car. So while acceleration makes moving things move faster, deceleration makes moving things to slow down or stop completely.

Acceleration is a vector quantity as it is the rate of change of velocity. Thus it not only requires magnitude, you also need direction to mention it. According to Newton’s 2nd law of motion, the force acting upon a body of mass m is the product of its mass and its acceleration.

F= m . a

When you increase the speed of your car, it is accelerating till the time it reaches its maximum velocity and after that it runs at top speed but is not accelerating any more.

In brief:

• Acceleration refers to rate of change in velocity and its positive value signifies that the speed of a moving object is increasing while deceleration is the opposite of acceleration and it applies when the speed of a moving body is decreasing.

• Deceleration is also called retardation.


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