An accelerometer is a tool that measures proper acceleration. Proper acceleration is the acceleration of a body in its own instantaneous rest frame; this is different from coordinate acceleration, which is acceleration in a fixed coordinate system. For example, an accelerometer at rest on the surface of the Earth will measure an acceleration due to Earth's gravity, straight upwards of g ≈ 9.81 m/s2. By contrast, accelerometers in free fall will measure zero.Read more on Wikipedia
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