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Answered 2009-10-28 18:20:47

Acceleration is a change in velocity with respect to time. Velocity is a vector quantity, meaning it has both a direction and a speed. Acceleration is therefore also a vector quantity. So if you change the direction an object is moving without changing its speed, you are still accelerating the object.

The best example of this is circular motion. If you tie a string to a rock and swing around your head at a steady rate, the speed of the rock stays the same but its direction is continually changing. It is accelerating, and the acceleration vector points directly to the center of rotation.

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