Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Find the angle that the total acceleration of the car makes

  1. Feb 11, 2004 #1
    Ok, this is a type of question I have seen on a quiz, and in my homeworks. I have gotten it wrong both times.

    This problem seems to be reoccuring, and I am pretty sure it will be on my test on friday.

    This is the question:

    "A race car starts from rest on a circular track. The car increases its speed at a constant rate a(sub i) as it goes once around the track. Find the angle that the total acceleration of the car makes - with the radius connecting the center of the track and the car - at the moment the car completes the circle."

    Now I understand some aspects of the question, like this is a Tangential and Radial acceleration problem. But what I am looking for is a sort of guide through these types of problems, so I can tackle any problem that is like this.

    Also, the question on my quiz was this, but it asked different types of questions about the circle. I will get it back tomorrow and post the variation.

    Thank you very much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2004 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    To find the radial component of the acceleration, you need the speed. Find the speed however you can. [itex]a_r=\frac{v^2}{r}[/itex]

    The tangential acceleration [itex]a_t[/itex] is given. Find the total acceleration by adding the two vector components. (The angle can be found by drawing the triangle representing the vector addition. And a little trig.)
  4. Feb 12, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Two things:
    1) Do all of the HW problems in your book (and I'm only slightly joking).
    2) Draw a picture.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook