College Physics 2.19 – Acceleration of an intercontinental ballistic missile


Assume that an intercontinental ballistic missile goes from rest to a suborbital speed of 6.50 km/s in 60.0 s (the actual speed and time are classified). What is its average acceleration in m/s2 and in multiples of g (9.80 m/s2) ?


Solution:

The formula for acceleration is 

\displaystyle \text{a}=\frac{\text{v}_{\text{f}}-\text{v}_0}{\text{t}}

Substituting the given values

\displaystyle \text{a}=\frac{6.5\times 10^3\:\text{m/s}-0\:\text{m/s}}{60.0\:\text{sec}}=108.33\:\text{m/s}^2

This can be expressed in multiples of g

\displaystyle \text{a}=\frac{108.33\:\text{m/s}^2}{9.80\:\text{m/s}^2}=11.05\text{g}

Therefore, the average acceleration is 108.33 m/s2 and can be expressed as 11.05g.