What is Tangential acceleration: Definition and 95 Discussions

In mechanics, acceleration is the rate of change of the velocity of an object with respect to time.
Accelerations are vector quantities (in that they have magnitude and direction). The orientation of an object's acceleration is given by the orientation of the net force acting on that object. The magnitude of an object's acceleration, as described by Newton's Second Law, is the combined effect of two causes:

the net balance of all external forces acting onto that object — magnitude is directly proportional to this net resulting force;
that object's mass, depending on the materials out of which it is made — magnitude is inversely proportional to the object's mass.The SI unit for acceleration is metre per second squared (m⋅s−2,




{\displaystyle {\tfrac {\operatorname {m} }{\operatorname {s} ^{2}}}}
For example, when a vehicle starts from a standstill (zero velocity, in an inertial frame of reference) and travels in a straight line at increasing speeds, it is accelerating in the direction of travel. If the vehicle turns, an acceleration occurs toward the new direction and changes its motion vector. The acceleration of the vehicle in its current direction of motion is called a linear (or tangential during circular motions) acceleration, the reaction to which the passengers on board experience as a force pushing them back into their seats. When changing direction, the effecting acceleration is called radial (or orthogonal during circular motions) acceleration, the reaction to which the passengers experience as a centrifugal force. If the speed of the vehicle decreases, this is an acceleration in the opposite direction and mathematically a negative, sometimes called deceleration, and passengers experience the reaction to deceleration as an inertial force pushing them forward. Such negative accelerations are often achieved by retrorocket burning in spacecraft. Both acceleration and deceleration are treated the same, they are both changes in velocity. Each of these accelerations (tangential, radial, deceleration) is felt by passengers until their relative (differential) velocity are neutralized in reference to the vehicle.

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  1. yucheng

    Incorrect derivation of tangential acceleration in polar coordinates

    I am trying to derive the tangential acceleration of a particle. We have tangential velocity, radius and angular velocity. $$v_{tangential}= \omega r$$ then by multiplication rule, $$\dot v_{tangential} = a_{tangential} = \dot \omega r + \omega \dot r$$ and $$a_{tangential} = \ddot \theta r +...
  2. S

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    Homework Statement: A student is swinging a ball on a string overhead in a horizontal plane. The string initially has length 𝑙0 and the ball is moving with an initial speed 𝑣0 . The student decides to see how fast they can spin the ball, so they begin moving it faster and faster with a constant...
  3. S

    Tangential acceleration and centripetal acceleration

    a disc or radius r = 16cm starts spinning from rest with a uniform angular acceleration of 8.0 rad/s^2. at what time is its tangential acceleration twice the centripetal acceleration. i figured out the tangential acceleration is: Atan = α/R = 8 / .16 = 50 m/s^2 and the centripetal...
  4. APphysicsSenior

    Calculating tangential acceleration of rotating object

    Homework Statement An ant clings to the outside edge of the tire of an exercise bicycle. When you start pedaling, the an't speed increases from ) to 10 m/s in 2.6 s. The wheel's rotational acceleration is 13 rad/s^s. Determine the average tangential acceleration of the tire. Homework...
  5. R

    Tangential and centripetal force

    Homework Statement The canister of a juicer has 333 grams of pulp distributed over its inside wall at an average radius of 8.00cm. It starts from rest and reaches its maximum angular speed of 3600.0 rpm in 4.00 seconds. For the pulp, determine ( f ) the tangential and centripetal force on it...
  6. B

    Tangential acceleration, linear acceleration, and torque

    What is the difference between tangential and linear acceleration of a circular object (let's say a ball)? Also, how does the torque contribute to linear acceleration?
  7. A

    Finding tangential acceleration of a rotating disk

    Homework Statement Attached. Homework Equations Tangenital acceleration=r*alpha 3. The Attempt at a Solution I thought it was just simply r*alpha=2*20=40 (choice A), but the answer key says choice B. I'm not really sure where I could have went wrong or its possible that there is a mistake...
  8. F

    Radial and Tangential Acceleration

    Homework Statement 2 A particle P of mass mkg moves on an arc of a circle with centre O and radius a metres. At time t = 0 the particle is at the point A. At time t seconds, angle POA = sin^2 2t. Find (i) the value of t when the transverse component of the acceleration of P is first equal to...
  9. D

    Why is the tangential force not same?

    Homework Statement A chain of length ##l\lt \dfrac{\pi r }{2}## is placed on a smooth hemispherical surface of radius R with one of its ends fixed at the top of the hemisphere. What will be the tangential acceleration of the chain when it starts sliding down. Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a...
  10. JulienB

    Elliptic path, normal and tangential acceleration

    Homework Statement Hi everybody! I'm really struggling with those exercises from my special relativity class, and I'd like to know what you think about that one because I come up with a strange result: The motion of a point mass in a plane is given by: x = a cos(ωt), y = b sin(ωt) Calculate...
  11. T

    Finding centripedal acceleration with tangential acceleration

    Homework Statement I'm trying to find the centripedal acceleration of a roller coaster at a certain point in time from experimental data of acceleration in the X, Y, and Z directions. I do not know the velocity of the roller coaster, only the acceleration. Thank you! Homework Equations v^2/r...
  12. E

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    Homework Statement A satellite S is moving in an elliptical orbit around the earth. The mass of the satellite is very small compared to the mass of the earth. Choose the correct statement. Ans: (A) the acceleration of S is always directed towards the centre of the earth Homework Equations F=...
  13. K

    Angular acceleration, tangential acceleration

    Homework Statement Two go-karts race around a course that has concentric circular tracks. The radius of the inner track is 15.0 m, and the radius of the outer track is 19.0 m. The go-karts start from rest at the same angular position and time, and move at the same constant angular acceleration...
  14. Arkun

    Centripetal and Tangential Acceleration

    Homework Statement A car drives on a circular road with radius ##R##. The distance driven by the car is given by ##d(t) = at^3 + bt## [where ##t## in seconds will give ##d## in meters]. In terms of ##a##, ##b##, and ##R##, and when ##t = 2## seconds, find an expression for the magnitudes of (i)...
  15. C

    Find Tangential Component of Acceleration and Curvature

    Homework Statement Homework Equations I know that the tangential accel is v = wr and that Centripetal = v^2/r The Attempt at a Solution For A, I thought it would be straight forward if I had the radius as well as omega. I know that the distance between A and B is 60in, but I don't think it...
  16. J

    Angular Acc. Homework: Calculate Centripetal & Angular Acc.

    Homework Statement An airplane makes a circular turn of radius 9 km at a constant speed of 650 km/h. Calculate the magnitude of the plane's a. angular velocity, b. centripetal acceleration, c. angular acceleration, d. tangential acceleration Homework Equations w = v/r aR = w^2r The Attempt at...
  17. W

    Normal and tangential acceleration

    Homework Statement why the normal acceleration is 6 rads^-1 ? It's not stated in the question , right? Can someone explain more about normal acceleration? i couldn't understand it . I only know that when the rod is rotated , it has tangential acceleration Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a...
  18. vetgirl1990

    Finding radial & tangential acceleration at a point

    Homework Statement A point on a rotating turntable 20.0cm from the center accelerates from rest to final speed of 0.700m/s in 1.75s. At t=1.25s, find the magnitude and direction of (a) the radial acceleration, (b) the tangential acceleration, (c) the total acceleration of the point. Homework...
  19. C

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    It can be found in any advanced calculus textbook the proof that, for a "well-behaved" space curve, the acceleration vector can be decomposed into components along the tangent and normal unit vectors. The acceleration vector is always orthogonal to the binormal vector. The decomposition is...
  20. JulienB

    Calculate tangential acceleration knowing velocity and time....

    Homework Statement A train moves along a circle with radius R = 2 km. The train accelerates with a constant rate, from v1 = 30 km/h to v2 = 100 km/h. It crosses SF = 1200 m during the acceleration. a) Find the time tF of the acceleration. b) What is the tangential acceleration aT of the train...
  21. DanielleG

    Centripetal Force Theory Questions

    Homework Statement Answer True, False, or Cannot tell to each of the five statements below. A small projectile is launched horizontally 1 m above the surface of a smooth, airless planet, with sufficient speed for orbit. A bug riding in a small hole in the projectile has apparent weight...
  22. I

    Finding normal and tangential acceleration

    Homework Statement A point moves along the curve y = x3 + x such that the vertical component of velocity is always 3. Find the tangential and normal components of acceleration at the point P(2,10). Homework Equations Tangential Acceleration - aT(t) = v(t) ⋅ a(t)/ magnitude of velocity vector...
  23. X

    Is the tangential acceleration component always zero(wheel?)

    If a wheel is rolling down a hill without slipping then we know the contact point has zero velocity. Is it also true that the tangential acceleration of this point is zero too?
  24. R

    Tangential Acceleration of Object moving in cylindrical wall

    Homework Statement An object slides along the ground at speed v at the base of a circular wall of radius r. The object is in contact with both the wall and the ground, and friction acts at both contacts. The wall is vertical and provides no force in the vertical direction. (i) Show that the...
  25. P

    Rotational motion - finding tangential acceleration

    1. The problem A 6 kg block is released from a height of 5 m on a frictionless track and goes into a half pipe with a radius of 2 m. Determine the tangential and radial components of the acceleration when the block reaches a height of 2 m.Homework Equations Ac= v^2/r. At = r*angular...
  26. W

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  27. Adjoint

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    We know that the magnitude of tangential component of acceleration is, atangential = dv/dt (where v is speed) So clearly atan = 0 for uniform circular motion (as v is constant) But what about non-uniform circular motion? I can see atan = 0 only when v = constant. But in non uniform circular...
  28. gcombina

    ( P.19) Tangential Acceleration

    A circular disk of radius 0.010 m rotates with a constant angular speed of 5.0 rev/s. What is the acceleration of a point on the edge of the disk? answer is 9.9 m/s ^2 My attempt: The problem is asking me for the tangential acceleration of the disk. At = rα so to solve the above...
  29. Maxo

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    When having a circular acceleration motion, we have both tangential acceleration and centripetal acceleration. The tangential acceleration is aT=r*α where α=1/2*(ωf-ω0). So we can see tha aT is dependant on both the initial angular velocity ω0 and the final ωf). For centripetal...
  30. Conservation

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    Homework Statement A car is driven at a constant speed of 10.0 m/s as it travels over a circular-shaped arch. If the radius of curvature of the bridge is 50.0m, what upward force does the car exert on the 64.0 kg person riding in the car as it passes over the bridge?Homework Equations v2/r=ac...
  31. J

    How Does Acceleration Affect a Car's Tire Rotation and Speed?

    Homework Statement If a car with 30.0 cm tires is accelerating at 0.75 m/s^2, what is the angular acceleration? How fast will the tires be spinning from rest if the car accelerates for 1.50 minutes? And finally how fast will that be linearly? T=90 seconds R=.3 m Homework Equations Vt=rw...
  32. M

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    I ma having a little bit of trouble distinguishing radial and tangential acceleration. For example: The magnitude of the acceleration of a point on a spinning wheel is increased by a factor of 4 if: A. the magnitudes of the angular velocity and the angular acceleration are each...
  33. A

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    Homework Statement A motorcyclist travels around a curved path that has a radius of 450 ft. While traveling around the curved path, the motorcyclist increases speed by 1.10\frac{ft}{s}. Determine the maximum constant speed of the motorcyclist when the maximum acceleration is 7.00...
  34. D

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    I'm attempting to solve a mastering physics problem, but I've seem to run into a dead-end on this problem. I've worked out my solution and I'm certain I've rounded my sig figs correctly, but mp doesn't accept the answer. Homework Statement An 17-cm long bicycle crank arm, with a pedal at one...
  35. H

    Understanding Tangential Acceleration in Circular Motion

    *I am reposting as I previously posted this in the wrong category. Homework Statement Perhaps I am confused by the concept. A toy car starts from rest at a height 4R above the ground and continue to a loop of radius R (frictionless). At a point C (height R from the ground) inside the...
  36. H

    What is the tangential acceleration of a toy car at a specific point in a loop?

    Homework Statement Perhaps I am confused by the concept. A toy car starts from rest at a height 4R above the ground and continue to a loop of radius R (frictionless). At a point C (height R from the ground) inside the loop, what is the tangential acceleration of the toy car? Homework...
  37. J

    Tangential acceleration, Inertia, and Torque

    Homework Statement A solid rod of mass M = 1.35 kg and length L = 83 cm is suspended by two strings, each with a length d = 71 cm (see Figure), one at each end of the rod. The string on side B is cut. What is the magnitude of the initial tangential acceleration of end B...
  38. L

    What affects tangential acceleration and normal or c?

    I was wondering if acceleration (a) is the speed in which speed changes how come it can b higher than 0 and still v=0? like when there is a force pulling from the other side, the body won't move but since there is force there is acceleration. So which is which? Does the tangential...
  39. M

    Why Can Tangential Acceleration Vector's Scalar Component Not Be Negative?

    we already know that the scalar component of the Centripetal ( Radial ) Acceleration vector is always negative because it's ALWAYS directed to the opposite direction of its unit vector ( toward the center of the circle ) , and this is satisfying to me and to the formula . however , when it...
  40. P

    Tangential acceleration given radius and angular acceleration

    radius is 2 meters and angular acceleration is 3. How do i find the tangential acceleration?
  41. S

    Direction of tangential acceleration

    where is the direction of tangential acceleration? Does tangential acceleration depend on direction of tangential velocity or not?
  42. F

    Tangential acceleration - radial acceleration

    Hi, I got a ball in a circualar motion on a frictionless table and in a uniform circle. I need to calculate the tangential acceleration and radial acceleration. What I know: Radius: 0.4m Tangential velocity: 0.50m/s^-1 (constant)Are theese formulas right for this problem? Radial...
  43. D

    Radial and Tangential Acceleration

    I can't figure out how to do this for the instant time or with the limited information. A particle moving clockwise in a circle of radius 2.5 m at a certain instant of a time. For that instant, find (a) the radial acceleration of the particle (b) the speed of the particle and (c) it...
  44. khurram usman

    Centripetal and tangential acceleration in rotational motion ?

    centripetal and tangential acceleration in rotational motion...? consider a stone attached to a string moving in a horizontal circle in a gravity field. now it has two accelerations one along the \hat{r} direction and the other along \theta\hat{} (theta hat) direction but there is only one...
  45. W

    Bio-mechanics Help (Centripetal and Tangential acceleration)

    this is the question: Pick joint of the human body. With reference to this joint and the concepts of tangential and centripetal acceleration, provide an example and explain: A. an activity in which tangential acceleration is zero, centripetal is non-zeroB. an activity in which centripetal...
  46. K

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    Homework Statement A car is rounding a curve on the interstate, slowing from 30 m/s to 22 m/s in 7.0 seconds. The radius of the curve is 30 meters. What is the acceleration of the car? vi=30 m/s vf=22 m/s t=7 s r=30 meters. Homework Equations change in velocity/change in time=...
  47. I

    Angular and tangential acceleration

    1. What is the tangential acceleration of a bug on the rim of a 78 rpm record of diameter 9.79 in. if the record moves from rest to its final angular speed in 7 s? The conversion between inches and meters is 0.0254 m/in. Answer in units of m/s2. 2. angular acceleration 3...
  48. R

    What Is the Maximum Tangential Acceleration Before a Car's Wheels Start to Spin?

    A car goes around a 40m radius turn at a speed of 15m/s . If the coefficient of static friction μs between the tires and the road is 0.7, what is the maximum tangential acceleration the car could have before the wheels start to spin? OK IT'S MY LAST QUESTION AND I THINK I'M TOO TIRED TO...
  49. G

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    1. (a)A train slows down at a constant rate as it rounds a sharp circular horizontal turn. Its initial speed is not known. It takes 16.6 s to slow down from 86 km/h to 30 km/h. The radius of the curve is 162 m. As the train goes around the turn, what is the magnitude of the tangential...
  50. P

    Radial and Tangential Acceleration Question

    A ball tied to the end of a string 0.5 m in length swings in a vertical circle under the influence of gravity. When the string makes an angle of 20 degrees with the vertical, the ball has a speed of 1.5 m/s. Find the tangential component of acceleration at this instant. Help! Tangential...