Acceleration vs. Deceleration

Difference Between Acceleration and Deceleration

Acceleration and deceleration are two concepts that we find while studying the motion of the objects.

The rate at which the moving object changes its velocity is known as acceleration and if this rate is a negative value then we call it deceleration.

In common language, when you increase the speed of any moving objects, you are accelerating and when the speed is decreased then it is known as deceleration. Acceleration adds to the current speed of the objects while deceleration decreases the speed and eventually stops the moving object. It is also known as retardation of the speed.

If we talk about the automobiles then they can be accelerated only till the time they reach their maximum speed and then they continue to move at that speed until decelerated. Acceleration is a vector quantity which needs magnitude and direction for its representation.  This means that it is important for us to know if the acceleration is positive or not to predict if the object with move faster or slow down. According to Newton’s second law of motion force on mass of a body is the product of its mass and acceleration.

F=mXa, where ‘F’ is the force, ‘m’ is the mass and ‘a’ is acceleration.





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  • Jayhawk

    Acceleration is acceleration. It is a rate of change of velocity. It may be negative or positive in value. If you step on the gas or slam on the brakes in a car, both result in acceleration. This is normally expressed in g-force (gravitational force on earth). If you jump off a 5 story building, you are accelerating at 1 g. When you hit the concrete, you are accelerating at 100g, it just happens to be in the opposite direction you started. If you made a vector diagram, it would show 1 one direction and then 100 in the opposite

    Deceleration is just a misnomer and made up word in the english language, probably created by a high school coach/driver’s ed teacher.