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Circular motion?

  1. Aug 9, 2007 #1
    How would you know the direction of the acceleration of an object
    a) moving uniformly in a circular motion
    b) accelerating in a circular motion.

    I'm pretty sure the answer to a is toward the center of the circle but I'm not so sure about b.

    thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2007 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Just by virtue of moving in a circle, the object must have a radial component of acceleration--so your answer for a is correct. If the object is accelerating in a circle, not just moving at constant speed in a circle, then it will also have a tangential component of acceleration. To find the direction of the total acceleration, you need both components.
     
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