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I Decomposing the arc length of a circular arc segment

  1. Jun 26, 2016 #1
    A particle travels along a circular arc segment centered at the origin of the Cartesian plane with radius R, a start angle θ1 and an end angle θ2 (with θ2 ≥ θ1 and Δθ = θ2 - θ2 ≤ 2π). The total distance traveled is equal to the arc length of the segment: L = R(Δθ).

    I would like to find the distance covered by the particle along the X axis and the distance covered by the particle along the Y axis.

    I'm not sure how to do this unless I break up the arc at each quadrant crossing and analyze the pieces separately.

    Any tips are greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Distance covered as in "if you go back and forth you count it twice"? You can write down an integral that works in general, but analyzing 2 special cases is easier.
  4. Jun 26, 2016 #3
    Yes, exactly - If you go back and forth you count it twice. I'm looking for one elegant expression in terms of x and in terms of y but that may not be possible?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
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