How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works
 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
Question 751

When accelerating, can you decelerate by going in a direction that is not opposite (your velocity)? For example, going north can you decelerate by going east?
Decelerating is a very specific acceleration—always in the direction opposite your velocity. If you were heading north and accelerated toward the east, your velocity would soon point toward the northeast. It would have some northward aspect because you were initially heading north and hadn't yet accelerated toward the south. It would have some eastward aspect because you had initially been heading neither eastward nor westward and had since accelerated toward the east.

On the other hand, if you were heading north and then turned toward the east, you would have lost your northward velocity and obtained an eastward velocity. This "turning" would have involved a southward acceleration (to get rid of the northward velocity) and an eastward acceleration (to acquire an eastward velocity).

         

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