Delta-v (physics)

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For the special astrodynamical meaning, see Delta-v.

In general physics, delta-v is simply a change in velocity. The Greek uppercase letter delta is the standard mathematical symbol to represent change in some quantity.

Depending on the situation, delta-v can be either a spatial vectorv) or scalarv). In either case it is equal to the acceleration (vector or scalar) integrated over time:

\Delta \mathbf{v} = \mathbf{v}_1 - \mathbf{v}_0 = \int^{t_1}_{t_0} \mathbf {a} \, dt (vector version)
\Delta{v} = {v}_1 - {v}_0 = \int^{t_1}_{t_0} {a} \, dt (scalar version)

where:

  • v0 or v0 is initial velocity (at time t0),
  • v1 or v1 is subsequent velocity (at time t1).