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What happens in nonuniform circular motion? 
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#1
Mar2513, 09:45 AM

P: 19

Hi,
Say there's a particle moving with just a radial component of acceleration, this will stay in circular motion because the acceleration is always perpendicular to the velocity. But if you introduce a tangential component of velocity, according to my book the particle stays in circular motion but it's tangential velocity changes. Why does this happen instead of the particle just moving in a path that isn't circular? Like an oval or something, seeing as the net acceleration no longer always points to the same place (centre of a circle). Thanks 


#2
Mar2513, 11:29 AM

Mentor
P: 11,601

You don't have to get a circular motion. 


#3
Mar2513, 11:40 AM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
PF Gold
P: 12,016

1. IF the acceleration is always perpendicular to the velocity, and nonzero, THEN you have circular motion.
Basically, as mfb says you, have muddled it. 2. However: If you make the PREMISE that you have circular motion, then it follows that if the speed is constant, your acceleration is strictly radially directed, but if the speed is nonconstant, then you have a nonzero, nonradial acceleration component. 


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