"Accelerate" redirects here. For other uses, see Accelerate (disambiguation). A falling ball, in the absence of air resistance, accelerates, i.e. it falls faster and faster. Common symbol(s): a SI unit: m / s2 Classical mechanics History of classical mechanics Timeline of classical mechanics Branches[show] Formulations[show] Fundamental concepts[hide] Space Time Mass Inertia Velocity Speed Acceleration Force Momentum Impulse Torque / Moment / Couple Angular momentum Moment of inertia Reference frame Energy Kinetic energy Potential energy Mechanical work Mechanical power Virtual work D'Alembert's principle Core topics[show] Scientists[show] v t e In physics, acceleration is the rate at which the velocity of a body changes with time. In general, velocity and acceleration are vector quantities, with magnitude and direction, though in many cases only magnitude is considered (sometimes wi h negative values for deceleration). Acceleration is accompanied by a force, as described by Newton's Second Law; the force, as a vector, is the product of the mass of the object being accelerated and the acceleration (vector). The SI unit of acceleration is the meter per second squared (m/s2). For example, an object such as a car that starts from standstill, then travels in a straight line at increasing speed, is accelerating in the direction of travel. If the car changes direction at constant speedometer reading, there is strictly speaking an acceleration although it is often not so described; passengers in the car will experience a force pushing them back into their seats in linear acceleration, and a sideways force on changing direction. If the speed of the car decreases, it is usual and meaningful to speak of deceleration; mathematically it is acceleration in the opposite direction to that of motion.