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Homework Help: Centripetal Acceleration and Tangential Acceleration problem driving me crazy!

  1. Oct 22, 2008 #1
    A car is tested on a 230 m diameter track.
    If the car speeds up at a steady 1.2 m/s^2, how long after starting is the magnitude of its centripetal acceleration equal to the tangential acceleration?

    it seems simple, but i just cant seem to get it!...
    find: change in time when centripetal acceleration = tangential acceleration.
    r = 115 m.
    a = 1.2 m/s^2 (which type of a, i dont know)
    centripetal accel = v^2/r or w^2/r
    tangential accel = (radius)(angular accel)

    i tried setting them equal to each other obviously, but no luck. can someone help me out!?!?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2008 #2
    >> centripetal accel = v^2/r or w^2/r

    centripetal accel = v^/r NOT w^2/r

    >> tangential accel = (radius)(angular accel)

    Nope, tangential accel is simply the acceleration given in the problem statement - 1.2 m/s^2

    What speed must the car be going to give it a centripetal acceleration equal to 1.2 m/s^2 ? How long will it take to reach this speed?

    Make sense?
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