Acceleration in non-uniform circular motion

In summary, the centripetal acceleration in a non-uniform circular motion, such as a pendulum, is caused by the centripetal force and can never be 0. This means that the object would stop moving in a circular path if the centripetal acceleration were to be 0. However, the tangential acceleration, caused by a change in speed, can be 0 at the peak positions of the pendulum, where the bob has 0 speed. This information is relevant to a physics question regarding the positions where a frictionless piece of ice in a semi-circular bowl would have 0 centripetal acceleration and non-zero tangential acceleration. It can be concluded that the piece of ice would have a non-zero
  • #1
nashsth
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In a non-uniform circular motion (for example a pendulum), can the centripetal/radial acceleration ever be 0? Likewise, can the tangential acceleration ever be 0?

The centripetal acceleration occurs because of the centripetal force, which causes the body (in the example of the pendulum, the bob is the body) to continue moving in its path. So if the centripetal acceleration is 0, then doesn't that imply that the centripetal force is 0, which means that the object would stop going in a circular path? So is it correct to say that the centripetal acceleration is never 0 in a non-uniform circular motion?

As for the tangential acceleration, it is caused by a change in speed of the body. So, in the pendulum example, since the bob has 0 speed at its peak positions, would it have 0 tangential acceleration only at its peak positions? NOTE: Peak position = the maximum position that a pendulum will attain before swinging down again.

I am asking because I am having trouble figuring out a (simple) physics question, which asks at which positions a frictionless piece of ice moving in a semi-circular bowl have 0 centripetal acceleration, but non-zero tangential acceleration. So if I am correct, then that would mean that the piece of ice has a non-zero centripetal acceleration at all times, and it has 0 tangential acceleration at its peak positions?
 
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Related to Acceleration in non-uniform circular motion

What is acceleration in non-uniform circular motion?

Acceleration in non-uniform circular motion refers to the rate of change of velocity in an object that is moving along a curved path. It is a vector quantity that can change in magnitude and direction.

How is acceleration calculated in non-uniform circular motion?

The formula for calculating acceleration in non-uniform circular motion is a = (v2 - v02) / r, where a is the acceleration, v is the final velocity, v0 is the initial velocity, and r is the radius of the circular path.

What is the difference between tangential and centripetal acceleration?

Tangential acceleration is the component of acceleration that is parallel to the velocity vector and causes a change in the speed of an object. Centripetal acceleration, on the other hand, is the component of acceleration that is perpendicular to the velocity vector and causes an object to change direction.

Can acceleration be constant in non-uniform circular motion?

No, acceleration cannot be constant in non-uniform circular motion. This is because the direction of acceleration is constantly changing due to the changing direction of the velocity vector. However, the magnitude of acceleration can be constant in uniform circular motion.

What are some real-life examples of non-uniform circular motion?

Some real-life examples of non-uniform circular motion include a car driving along a curved road, a rollercoaster going around a loop, and a satellite orbiting the Earth. Any object moving along a circular path with a varying speed or changing direction is an example of non-uniform circular motion.

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