Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Velocity and Acceleration

speed-limitVelocity vs Acceleration

Just like math or biology, part of being able to comprehend physics involves the understanding of the different terminologies being used. This is because, by understanding these basic terminologies, students will be more able to determine the different computations, and how various formulae are used in this particular subject.

However, understanding and differentiating the different terminologies can be extremely confusing for most students. This is mainly because many of these terminologies have similar characteristics. Velocity and acceleration are just two of the terminologies that can be quite confusing. But not to worry! This guide will present the difference between velocity and acceleration.

Velocity refers to how a particular object changes position from point A to point B. As such, it is considered to be a vector quantity. By being a vector quantity, it simply means that it is not only how fast or how slow an object changes direction from point A to point B, but also in which direction it changes its position. In essence, velocity is very similar to speed, since it measures the exact same thing. The main difference between the two, is that velocity requires you to specify the direction to where the object is heading. As such, if you say that the c car is going at 60 miles per hour, you are only referring to the speed of the car, but if you mention that the car is going 60 miles per hour north, then you are referring to the velocity of the car.

The formula for velocity is the distance traveled divided by the time it took for the object to travel the distance. Based on the formula used to derive an object’s velocity, velocity is not only concerned about how slow or how fast a particular object travels. It also considers how long it took for the object to travel between the two points. As far as application is concerned, velocity helps drivers to determine which route will get them to get to a particular place in the shortest possible time.

On the other hand, acceleration refers to the change of velocity over a period of time. It mainly measures how fast or slow a particular object speeds up as it travels from one point to another. Its counterpart is deceleration, which is how fast or slow a particular object slows down. Whenever you determine in how many seconds it takes for a car to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour south, you are actually calculating the acceleration of the car.


1. Acceleration and velocity are terminologies used in the study of physics.

2. Velocity refers to how a particular object changes position from point A to point B. On the other hand, acceleration refers to the change of velocity over a period of time.

3. Velocity is concerned with how long it took for an object to travel between two points. Acceleration is concerned with how fast or slow an object took to reach its traveling speed.

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