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Homework Help: An Object is in Uniform Circular Motion

  1. Jan 20, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Starting off a physics paper here about circular motion:

    An Object is in Uniform Circular Motion. So Its acceleration is constant because acceleration is a vector quantity, its radial acceleration component is constant in magnitude and its tangential acceleration component is constant in magnitude.

    A+ ? :x





    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2010 #2
    I don't believe a tangential acceleration exists in uniform circular motion, the magnitude of the tangential velocity should be constant...
     
  4. Jan 20, 2010 #3
    Ok so lets break it up, an object in uniform circular motion has:

    1) Constant Acceleration
    2) Has radial acceleration component that is constant in magnitude

    So why can't it have a tangential acceleration component that is constant in magnitude?
     
  5. Jan 20, 2010 #4
    I think he might be saying the tangential acceleration is a constant zero... the speed is not changing, only the direction of the velocity is.
     
  6. Jan 20, 2010 #5

    vela

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    The acceleration isn't constant either as its direction is always changing as the object goes around the circle.
     
  7. Jan 20, 2010 #6
    Vela,

    The acceleration is very constant..Given that the velocity is constant..I am kinda getting sidetracked here. I need to do small paragraph on the effects of uniform circular motion. So is it correct when I say that,

    1) Its acceleration is constant given that acceleration is a vector quantity
    2) Its radial acceleration component is constant in magnitude

    But Not
    ---------
    1) Its tangential acceleration component is constant in magnitude
     
  8. Jan 20, 2010 #7
    Hi lampshader
    Point 2 is right, but not point 1. The magnitude of the acceleration is constant but not the acceleration itself because it is a vector quantity as you said so we must take account the direction. Vela explained the rest.

    You can say that its tangential acceleration component is constant in magnitude, which is zero (as pgardn said) :smile:
     
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