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Centripetal acceleration: derivation of a= v2/r

  1. Nov 14, 2003 #1
    Can anyone please tell me how the formula for centripetal acceleration (a=v2/r) is derived?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2003 #2
  4. Nov 14, 2003 #3


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    Let's say a sideways force deflects a particle traveling with speed v through a small angle Δθ. Then Δv=vΔθ, and the acceleration is


    The distance travelled while the force is being applied is


    Solve the second displayed equation for Δt and plug it into the first equation. There ya go.
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