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Uniform Circular Motion: Centripital Acceleration vs. Acceleration 
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#1
Jun1607, 05:39 AM

P: 17

I am very new to physics and am taking a my first University Physics class. This is not a call for a problem to be solved, but a clarification on terminology.
In solving problems for uniform circular motion, some problems call for the acceleration of the object (a=v^2/r) and others the centripital or instantanious acceleration (a=4pi^2r/T^2). Can you please attempt to explain, in layman's terms, the difference between the two references to acceleration? Thanks for your assistance. 


#2
Jun1607, 05:49 AM

Mentor
P: 41,568

For uniform circular motion, the acceleration is centripetal. (Centripetal just means "towards the center".) 


#3
Jun1607, 09:58 PM

P: 17

Wow I'll need to look at that in further detail....
Thanks for your help! 


#4
Jun1607, 10:57 PM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 3,017

Uniform Circular Motion: Centripital Acceleration vs. Acceleration
So [itex] v_{ucm} = \frac{2 \pi r}{T} [/itex] Using this formula it is simple to prove that the two equations for acceleration you gave are equal. 


#5
Jun1707, 01:56 AM

P: 17

Okay, thanks. I worked it out and it is exactly the same. Not sure why I didn't see it before. Thanks guys!



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