Browse Definitions:
Definition

centimeter per second squared

The centimeter per second squared (symbolized cm/s 2 or cm/sec 2 ) is the unit of acceleration vector magnitude in the centimeter-gram-second ( cgs ) or small-unit metric system . This quantity can be defined in either of two senses: average or instantaneous.

For an object traveling in a straight line, the average acceleration magnitude is obtained by evaluating the object's instantaneous linear speed (in centimeters per second) at two different points t 1 and t 2 in time, and then dividing the distance by the span of time t 2 - t 1 (in seconds). Suppose the instantaneous speed at time t 1 is equal to s 1 , and the instantaneous speed at time t 2 is equal to s 2 . Then the average acceleration magnitude a avg (in centimeters per second squared) during the time interval [ t 1 , t 2 ] is given by:

a avg = ( s 2 - s 1 ) / ( t 2 - t 1 )

Instantaneous acceleration magnitude is more difficult to intuit, because it involves an expression of motion over an arbitrarily small interval of time. Let p represent a specific point in time. Suppose an object is in motion at about that time. The average acceleration magnitude can be determined over increasingly short time intervals centered at p , for example:

[ p -4, p +4]
[ p -3, p +3]
[ p -2, p +2]
[ p -1, p +1]
[ p -0.5, p +0.5]
[ p -0.25, p +0.25]
.
.
.
[ p - x , p + x ]
.
.
.

where the added and subtracted numbers represent seconds. The instantaneous acceleration magnitude, a inst , is the limit of the average acceleration magnitude as x approaches zero. This is a theoretical value, because it can be obtained only by inference from instantaneous speed values determined at the starting and ending points of progressively shorter time spans.

Acceleration, in its fullest sense, is a vector quantity, possessing direction as well as magnitude. For an object moving in a straight line and whose linear speed changes, the acceleration vector points in the same direction as the object's direction of motion. But acceleration can be the result of a change in the direction of a moving object, even if the instantaneous speed remains constant. The classic example is given by an object in circular motion, such as a revolving weight attached to the rim of a wheel. If the rotational speed of the wheel is constant, the weight's acceleration vector points directly inward toward the center of the wheel.

Also see acceleration , velocity , International System of Units ( SI ), and Table of Physical Units and Constants.

This was last updated in June 2010

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

I'm in science and I want to know what does cm per second means.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in ...

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

    The National Security Agency is the official U.S. cryptologic organization of the United States Intelligence Community under the ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close