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Physics Principles with Applications
Found in: Page 41
Physics Principles with Applications

Physics Principles with Applications

Book edition 7th
Author(s) Douglas C. Giancoli
Pages 978 pages
ISBN 978-0321625922

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Short Answer

Can an object have zero velocity and non-zero acceleration at the same time? Give examples.

Yes, an object can have zero velocity and still be accelerating.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1. Definitions of velocity and acceleration

Velocity is a vector quantity and is defined as the time rate of change of displacement of an object. On the other hand, acceleration is the time rate of change of velocity.

Step 2. Analyzing the scenario when an object has zero velocity

Suppose an object is moving in the forward direction. A force starts acting on it in the opposite direction of its motion. It decreases the velocity of the object and continues to do so until it approaches zero.

While observing the object, you will see that it starts accelerating in the reverse direction due to the force. At this point, the velocity becomes zero. And at any time before and after this point, the velocity is non-zero.

Step 3. Acceleration of the object at zero velocity

The change in velocity continues even when the object acquires zero velocity. Thus, acceleration occurs simultaneously.

For example, a ball is projected upward from the surface of the Earth with a constant velocity. The force of gravitation acts opposite (downward) to the motion of the ball. At the highest point, the velocity of the ball becomes zero, and the ball starts falling with an acceleration of 9.8 m/s2.

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