Why can objects at rest accelerate?
Can anyone explain why an object which is at rest can have
Acceleration is nothing but the rate of change of velocity.
Now consider a car that is at rest but is about to start
moving. You press the accelerator and the car starts moving.
As the velocity of car has changed from zero to a nonzero
value, the car must have had acceleration even though it was at rest.
I hope this will suffice.
You might also want to consider what you mean by "at rest".
Something that is a rest and stays at rest is not accelerating -- in the frame
of reference in which the "at rest" measurement was made. However,
if we step into a different reference frame (for example, a space
ship watching the earth) we would find that a book on a table (on earth)
which appears stationary to someone on earth is actually travelling
in a very complicated path (earth rotating & revolving, galaxy moving,
etc.) and was indeed accelerating when measured from that frame.
gregory r bradburn
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012