- #1

Jimmy87

- 686

- 17

I am studying circular motion at the moment and we were asked to go away and find an example of a device which has a very large centripetal acceleration. Initially I found a washing machine has up to about 300g but then I was looking at nuclear enrichment gas centrifuges which have huge accelerations. I can;t find a source that mentions the acceleration but I have found sources that tell you the information you need:

Radius of Centrifuge = 4 inches

Frequency of Rotation = 2000Hz

a = v

^{2}/r

v = 2πf

So, a = (2πf)

^{2}/r = (2π x 2000)

^{2}/0.1016 = 1.55 x 10

^{9}ms

^{-2}

So I come to my main question - what have I done wrong as this is way too high.

I also have a second question. When an object is undergoing uniform circular motion how do you interpret the acceleration. What I mean is that it is really easy to understand a car accelerating in a straight line because it tells you how many m/s his speed is increasing every second. For example, an acceleration for a car of 3m/s

^{2}that is not changing direction means that every second the speed is increasing by 3m/s. What does 3m/s

^{2}mean when the object is going round in a circular at constant speed though. How can 3m/s every second relate to a change in direction?

Thanks for any help,