# Acceleration

## Acceleration (Encyclopedia of Science)

Acceleration is a measure of the rate at which the velocity of an object is changing. If you are riding in a car traveling in a straight line at a constant 50 kilometers per hour, you experience no acceleration because the car's velocity (rate of motion) is not changing. If the car begins to speed up, acceleration occurs because the car's velocity increases. If the car slows down, negative acceleration, or deceleration, occurs because the car's velocity decreases.

Acceleration and force

Our understanding of acceleration is due to the work of two great scientists, Italian physicist Galileo Galilei (1564642) and English physicist Isaac Newton (1642727). During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Galileo first observed the motion of objects rolling down an inclined plane. He wrote mathematical equations that showed how the velocities of these objects increased as they rolled down the planes. These equations first described the idea of accelerated motion.

Some years later, Newton explained the observations made by Galileo. He said that the velocity of an object changes only when a force acts on that object. In the case of a ball rolling down a plane, that force is the force of gravity. Newton's discovery of the relationship between force and acceleration became one of the fundamental concepts in modern physics.

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(The entire section is 606 words.)

## Acceleration (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)

A hastening; a shortening of the time until some event takes place.

A person who has the right to take possession of property at some future time may have that right accelerated if the present holder loses his or her legal right to the property. If a life estate fails for any reason, the remainder is accelerated.

The principle of acceleration can be applied when it becomes clear that one party to a contract is not going to perform his or her obligations. ANTICIPATORY REPUDIATION, or the possibility of future breach, makes it possible to

A sample acceleration clause

move the right to remedies back to the time of repudiation rather than to wait for the time when performance would be due and an actual breach would occur.

(The entire section is 128 words.)