Negative Velocity and Negative Acceleration

Observe that the object below moves in the negative direction with a changing velocity. An object which moves in the negative direction has a negative velocity. If the object is speeding up then its acceleration vector is directed in the same direction as its motion (in this case, a negative acceleration). The dot diagram shows that each consecutive dot is not the same distance apart (i.e., a changing velocity). The position-time graph shows that the slope is changing (meaning a changing velocity) and negative (meaning a negative velocity). The velocity-time graph shows a line with a negative (downward) slope (meaning that there is a negative acceleration); the line is located in the negative region of the graph (corresponding to a negative velocity). The acceleration-time graph shows a horizontal line in the negative region of the graph (meaning a negative acceleration).

Anim'n of Negative Vel. and Accel'n

For more information on physical descriptions of motion, visit The Physics Classroom Tutorial. Detailed information is available there on the following topics:

Ticker Tape Diagrams

Meaning of Acceleration

Position-Time Graphs

Velocity-Time Graphs

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