Register to reply 
What is the difference between centripetal and angular acceleration? 
Share this thread: 
#1
Apr1312, 08:43 PM

P: 42

So as the title says, what is the difference between centripetal and angular acceleration? I already know that there is a difference in the equations for each of the components but can someone please explain it conceptually? Please use some examples in your explanation.



#2
Apr1312, 09:17 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 2,193

Centripetal acceleration simply means a centrallydirected force accelerating an object. As in the case of a ball on a string whirling around, the ball experiences a centripetal acceleration. Angular acceleration, however, is the change in angular velocity of the ball: if it were speeding up in its rotation, it would experience angular acceleration (i.e. if you shorten the string).



#3
Apr1312, 09:44 PM

P: 42




#4
Apr1312, 09:52 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 2,193

What is the difference between centripetal and angular acceleration?



#5
Apr1312, 10:17 PM

Homework
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
P: 9,839

A body undergoes centripetal acceleration (the acceleration it needs in order to keep moving around some focus) when subjected to a centripetal force (from a string, gravity..). This applies even when the rate of rotation does not change. A body undergoes angular acceleration when subjected to an angular force (torque). This would often be a ball/disc/wheel made to spin faster or more slowly, but would also apply if, as Nabeshin says, the orbital rate changes. In algebra, centripetal acceleration is r.[itex]\omega[/itex][itex]^2[/itex]; angular speed is r.[itex]\omega[/itex]; angular acceleration is [itex]\partial[/itex](r.[itex]\omega[/itex])/[itex]\partial[/itex]t. Either acceleration can be zero (at least briefly) while the other is not. 


#6
Apr1312, 11:20 PM

P: 963

I wish i could remember these equations
[itex] v=\dot{R}\hat r + Rω\hat θ[/itex] [itex] a=( \ddot {R}Rω^2)\hat r +(Rα+2\dot {R}w)\hat θ[/itex] 


Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
Can centripetal acceleration be called centripetal? jerk?  Classical Physics  10  
Angular motions and Dynamics  centripetal acceleration  Introductory Physics Homework  9  
Angular, linear velocity & centripetal acceleration  Introductory Physics Homework  2  
Are angular displacement, angular velocity, and angular acceleration, vectors?  Classical Physics  5  
Centripetal/angular acceleration  Introductory Physics Homework  10 