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Homework Help: 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

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    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


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    Homework Helper

    Two things:
    1) Do all of the HW problems in your book (and I'm only slightly joking).
    2) Draw a picture.
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