When a particle
's velocity changes, the particle
is said to undergo acceleration
(or a change in velocity
). For motion along an axis
, the average acceleration Aavg
over a time interval t
Aavg = v2 - v1 / t2 - t1 = v/t
where the particle has velocity v1 at time t1 and then velocity v2 at time t2. The instantaneous acceleration (or simply acceleration) is the derivative of the velocity with respect to time.
In other words, the acceleration of a particle at any instant is the rate at which its velocity is changing at that instant. Graphically, the acceleration at any point is the slope of the curve v(t) at that point.