Cite an example of something that undergoes acceleration while moving at constant speed. Can you also give an example of something that accelerates while traveling at constant velocity? Explain.
Solution 16E Part 1 Acceleration is defined by the rate of change of velocity. Now velocity is a vector quantity. So if the direction of the velocity changes, the velocity changes. Now there can be a situation where the magnitude of velocity remains constant and only the direction is changing. Now the speed is the magnitude of the velocity. Hence we can have a situation where an object moving with varying direction but with constant speed. In this case, we will have the object moving with constant speed but still have acceleration. For example, suppose that an object is moving in a circular path with constant speed. Now the direction of the velocity of the object is constantly changing, hence there will be acceleration, but in this case the speed is constant. So object moving in a circular path with constant speed is an example of motion with constant speed and still, have acceleration. Part 2 As discussed above, the acceleration is the rate of change of velocity, either by direction, magnitude or by both. So if the change is zero, the acceleration will also be zero. Hence we can not have acceleration while the velocity remains constant.