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Circular motion basics

  1. Dec 20, 2004 #1
    How many accelerations are there in circular motion ?
    1) Angular
    2) Centripetal
    3) Linear
    is this right ?
    and if a particle in accelerated motion always experiences an intertial force,
    does an inertial force act opposite to linear acceleration ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2004 #2
    I am assuming that the Linear Acceleration is the acceleration from the center of mass.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2004
  4. Dec 22, 2004 #3


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    Circular motion is two dimensional. There can only be two independent accelerations.

    Your (1) and (3) are related to each other through the radius.
  5. Dec 22, 2004 #4


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    If an object is moving in a circle at a constant speed, then the only acceleration is "centripetal", toward the center of the circle. If the speed is changing (i.e. the length of the velocity vector is not constant) then there will also be a component of acceleration tangent to the circle- which is what I think you mean by "linear acceleration". In that case the angular velocity would also change: there will be angular acceleration but, as Gokul43201 said, that is proportional to the linear acceleration, they are not independent.
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