Physics - As Fast As You Can

A set of revision cards explaining simple physics formulas. 

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  • Created by: Elliza
  • Created on: 29-05-11 22:14

Speed and Velocity

To work out velocity, speed, displacement or time taken, use this: (

  • The 'D' represents 'Displacement'
  • The 'S' represents 'Velocity' or 'Speed' (Both calculations are the same in this case)
  • The 'T' represents 'Time'

Bear in mind that 'm/s' (metres per second) is used for both, speed and velocity. (E.g 40 m/s) However, velocity is a vector quantity, which means it also needs a direction. (E.g 40 m/s North) 

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Acceleration is how quickly velocity is changing.

The unit for acceleration is m/s².

To work out acceleration use this:


In order to work out the change in velocity, you need to use this: 

Change in velocity = Finishing velocity (m/s) - Initial velocity (m/s)

For example, A skulking cat accelerated from 2m/s to 6m/s in 5.6s. Find it's acceleration.

Answer: Using the formula

Acceleration = (v - u) / t = (6 - 2) / 5.6 = 4 / 5.6 = 0.71 m/s²

'V' represents the finishing velocity, 'U' represents the initial velocity.

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Velocity Time Graphs

Here is a typical velocity time graph:


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Velocity Time Graphs Continued...

Things to remember about velocity time graphs:

  • Gradient = Acceleration
  • Flat sections represent steady speed
  • The steeper the graph, the greater the acceleration or deceleration
  • Uphill sections (/) are acceleration
  • Downhill sections (\) are deceleration
  • The area under any section is the distance travelled in that time interval
  • curve means changing acceleration.


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it's good but doesn't cover everything

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