AQA GCSE Physics

Revision Notes

5.6.11 Velocity-Time Graphs

Gradient of a Velocity-Time Graph

  • A velocity-time graph shows how the velocity of a moving object varies with time

 

This graph shows two objects moving with an increasing velocity

Acceleration on a Velocity-Time Graph

  • Velocity-time graphs also show the following information:
    • If the object is moving with a constant acceleration/deceleration
    • The magnitude of the acceleration/deceleration
  • A straight line represents constant acceleration
  • The slope of the line represents the magnitude of acceleration
    • A steep slope means large acceleration (or deceleration) – i.e. the object’s speed changes very quickly
    • A gentle slope means small acceleration (or deceleration) – i.e. the object’s speed changes very gradually
    • A flat line means the acceleration is zero – i.e. the object is moving with a constant velocity

velocity-time-graphs, IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

This image shows how to interpret the slope of a velocity-time graph

Calculating the Gradient of a Velocity-Time Graph

  • The acceleration of an object can be calculated from the gradient of a velocity-time graph

Velocity-Time Gradient, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notes

The acceleration of an object can be found by calculating the gradient of a velocity-time graph

Exam Tip

Use the entire line, where possible, to calculate the gradient. Examiners tend to award credit if they see a large gradient triangle used – so remember to draw ‘rise’ and ‘run’ lines directly on the graph itself!

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