Exploring Circular Motion: Centripetal Acceleration

• Riemannenthusiast
In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of centripetal and tangential acceleration in circular motion. The question is raised about whether there are any instances where an object has only centripetal acceleration and not tangential acceleration. It is noted that when the acceleration is perpendicular to the velocity, there is no tangential acceleration. Additionally, it is mentioned that if the rotation rate and radius are not changing, then there is no tangential acceleration.
Riemannenthusiast
Hey guys,
Theres something I've been confused about when looking at circular motion. When does an object have just centripetal acceleration as the acceleration of the object, if ever. I think that the acceleration vector is between the centripetal and tangential acceleration when an objects like in a loop, so the acceleration is in between the two vectors, so it there any time when there isn't tangential acceleration? I feel like I am not understanding something

Riemannenthusiast said:
Theres something I've been confused about when looking at circular motion. When does an object have just centripetal acceleration as the acceleration of the object, if ever. I think that the acceleration vector is between the centripetal and tangential acceleration when an objects like in a loop, so the acceleration is in between the two vectors, so it there any time when there isn't tangential acceleration? I feel like I am not understanding something
When the acceleration is perpendicular to the velocity.

If the rotation rate and the radius are not changing, then there is no tangential acceleration. Something sitting on a rotating platter has no tangential acceleration as long as the rotation rate of the platter does not change.

vanhees71

1. What is circular motion?

Circular motion is the movement of an object along a circular path. This means that the object is constantly changing direction, but its distance from a fixed point remains constant.

2. What is centripetal acceleration?

Centripetal acceleration is the acceleration that an object experiences when it moves in a circular path. It is always directed towards the center of the circle and is responsible for keeping the object moving along the circular path.

3. How is centripetal acceleration calculated?

Centripetal acceleration can be calculated using the formula a = v^2/r, where v is the velocity of the object and r is the radius of the circular path. This formula shows that the centripetal acceleration is directly proportional to the square of the velocity and inversely proportional to the radius.

4. What is the difference between centripetal and centrifugal force?

Centripetal force is the force that causes an object to move in a circular path, while centrifugal force is the apparent outward force that an object experiences when it moves in a circular path. In reality, centrifugal force does not actually exist and is simply a result of the object's inertia.

5. How is circular motion used in real life?

Circular motion is used in many real-life applications, such as amusement park rides, car racing, and satellite orbits. It is also used in sports, such as ice skating and gymnastics, and in everyday activities like swinging on a swing or riding a bike around a curve.

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