The Accelerometer Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The Interactive will not be functional on any device that is not equipped with a built-in accelerometer. It will be useless on desktop computers and most laptop computers. It will excel on iPads, iPhones, and other mobile devices with accelerometers


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive can be used at any time during a course. It's function is to plot acceleration as a function of time. The average value and the maximum value for a given time period are identified on the screen. This Interactive serves as a tool for measuring acceleration. Whether it swings back and forth, moves along with a person, or is strapped (securely, of course) to a moving cart, the Accelerometer Interactive has lots of applications in a kinematics unit as well as other units in a physics course. 

Instructors are encouraged to warn their students of the risk of attaching a mobile device to a moving object. The Accelerometer Interactive will certainly work. The mobile device it is on may not work once the experiment is over. Common sense is the cure to such possible problems.

Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Graphs and Ramps Interactive. These include:
  • Reading:
    Lesson 1 of the 1D Kinematics Chapter of the Tutorial is a perfect accompaniment to this Interactive. The following page will be particularly useful in the early stages of the learning cycle on kinematics:


  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Describing Motion with Velocity-Time Graphs
    Describing Motion Graphically

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (never supplant) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. Two notable lab ideas include ...

    Velocity-Time Graphs Lab
    Match That Graph Lab

    Visit The Laboratory.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating this Interactive into an instructional unit on kinematics or other topics can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.



The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive and for contributing it to our collection.. Visit to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios.