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Answered 2012-02-27 21:32:21

Acceleration is negative if velocity is decreasing with time. Since velocity is a vector this can occur in one of two ways:

1) you are slowing down in the direction of motion and the velocity in that direction is defined as positive (this is what we usually mean by negative acceleration)

2) you are speeding up in the direction of motion and the velocity in that direction is defined as negative.

An example of this is an object launched into the air which immediately starts to decelerate in it's upward velocity, reaches it's highest velocity, and then begins accelerating towards the ground. If we call the velocity upward a positive velocity, then when it starts falling, it has negative velocity. Note that acceleration (due to gravity) is negative the whole time.

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It cannot have negative velocity, it can have negative acceleration.


Can there be a positive acceleration and a negative acceleration?

Yes, acceleration can be positive and negative because acceleration is a vector. It has both direction and magnitude. The direction is what makes it positive or negative. Negative acceleration is usually called deceleration.


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A plane landing is a negative acceleration - "negative" meaning it slows down.


What is deceleration or negative acceleration?

Deceleration or negative acceleration is when an object or thing gets slower


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positive acceleration helps to increase the velocity for positive direction while negative acceleration resists the motion.


Can acceleration ever be negative?

Acceleration is negative when the object is moving in the opposite direction. on a graph the line would be in the negative quadrant.


What is negative accelertion?

Acceleration is any change in velocity. Negative acceleration is when the change is such that the speed decreases.


Why is acceleration due to gravity negative?

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Is retardation positive or negative acceleration?

Retardation or deceleration is negative acceleration. It is opposite to the direction of velocity.


What is another name for negative acceleration?

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How can you have negative acceleration but not negative speed?

The negative part in negative acceleration is indicating direction, as acceleration is a vector quantity. Speed however, is a scalar and has magnitude only and therefore cannot be negative. An example could be -2.6ms-2 meaning that there is an acceleration of 2.6ms-2 but in the opposite direction to other vectors.


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As the taxi driver braked sharply, my friend said "Wow, negative acceleration!"


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