PhysicsLAB Resource Lesson
Summary: Graph Shapes for Uniformly Accelerated Motion

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Notice that graph combinations having a positive acceleration have the following properties:
  • their position-time graphs are the "sides" of a parabola that "opens up"
  • their velocity-time graphs have a positive slope
  • their descriptions obey the rules for multiplying signed numbers:
         → gaining speed (+) x positive direction (+) = positive
         → losing speed (-) x negative direction (-) = positive
 
gaining speed in a positive direction
position-time
s-t
velocity-time
v-t
acceleration-time
a-t
 
 
losing speed in a negative direction
position-time
s-t
velocity-time
v-t
acceleration-time
a-t
 
Notice that graph combinations having a negative acceleration have the following properties:
  • their position-time graphs are the "sides" of a parabola that "opens down"
  • their velocity-time graphs have a negative slope
  • their descriptions obey the rules for multiplying signed numbers:
         → losing speed (-) x positive direction (+) = negative
         → gaining speed (+) x negative direction (-) = negative
 
losing speed while traveling in a positive direction
position-time
s-t
velocity-time
v-t
acceleration-time
a-t
 
 
gaining speed while traveling in a negative direction
position-time
s-t
velocity-time
v-t
acceleration-time
a-t



 
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