This is an interactive simulation created to help beginners differentiate velocity and acceleration vectors. The user can move a ball with the mouse or let the simulation move the ball in four modes of motion (two types of linear, simple harmonic, and circular). Two vectors are displayed -- one green and one blue. As the motion of the ball changes, the vectors also change. Which color represents velocity and which acceleration? Editor's Note: This simulation was designed with improvements based on research of student interaction with the PhET resource "Ladybug Revolution". The authors added two new features for the beginning learner: linear acceleration and harmonic motion. To supplement the simulation, we recommend the Physics Classroom tutorial "Vectors and Direction" and the teacher-created lesson, "Vectors Phet Lab" -- see links in Related Materials. This item is part of a larger and growing collection of resources developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET), each designed to implement principles of physics education research.


  • Mathematics > General

Education Levels:

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Motion in Two Dimensions,NSDL,2D Velocity,Grade 8,Grade 9,simple harmonic motion,Mathematics,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20130508143108507T,Classical Mechanics,acceleration,two-dimensional motion,Grade 10,Grade 11,Grade 12,Informal Education,Middle School,2D Acceleration,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-102,Physics,circular motion,vectors,motion,High School,velocity,Technology



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Update Standards?

CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-VM.A: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Represent and model with vector quantities.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-VM.A.1: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

(+) Recognize vector quantities as having both magnitude and direction. Represent vector quantities by directed line segments, and use appropriate symbols for vectors and their magnitudes (e.g., v, |v|, ||v||, v).
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