# How Do You Calculate the Radial Component of Acceleration in a Turning Car?

• jonnejon
In summary, a car is accelerating at 2.70 m/s^2, 10.0 degrees north of east, while turning from due south to due east. At the point halfway around the curve, the radial component of the acceleration is found to be 2.21 m/s^2. The formula used was A = Acos(x), where A is the acceleration and x is the angle between the acceleration and the radial line pointing towards the center of the circle. A diagram was drawn to better understand the problem.
jonnejon

## Homework Statement

A car speeds up as it turns from traveling due south to heading due east. When exactly halfway around the curve, the car's acceleration is 2.70 m/s^2, 10.0 degrees north of east.

What is the radial component of the acceleration at that point?

## Homework Equations

I have some equations in my notes but not sure which one to use.

## The Attempt at a Solution

I am trying to study for a test. I got this problem and the answer but I have no clue where to start. Can someone help me?

I am assuming 2.70m/s^2 is the acceleration and I want to find the centrifugal acceleration right? Please help?
A: 2.21m/s^2

jonnejon said:

## Homework Statement

A car speeds up as it turns from traveling due south to heading due east. When exactly halfway around the curve, the car's acceleration is 2.70 m/s^2, 10.0 degrees north of east.

What is the radial component of the acceleration at that point?

## Homework Equations

I have some equations in my notes but not sure which one to use.

## The Attempt at a Solution

I am trying to study for a test. I got this problem and the answer but I have no clue where to start. Can someone help me?

I am assuming 2.70m/s^2 is the acceleration and I want to find the centrifugal acceleration right? Please help?
A: 2.21m/s^2

You have to make a drawing. Draw an arc of a circle showing the motion of the car from due South to due East (so you will have a fourth of a circle). Now consider the point midway along this arc. At that point, draw the acceleration vector in the direction they give you.

Your goal is to find the component of this acceleration vector which points toward the center of the circle.

In general, this would be difficult but here you are in luck because you are at the point midway between due South and due East. Because of this, the radius of the circle will point exactly 45 degrees North of East.

Thanks. So the formula is: V=Vxcos(x) => A=Acos(x) => V=2.7cos(35)= 2.21m/s^2?

I didn't know you can use the velocity of an axis formula for acceleration also. Please clarify if I did it right. It doesn't look right but I got the answer of 2.21m/s^2.

jonnejon said:
Thanks. So the formula is: V=Vxcos(x) => A=Acos(x) => V=2.7cos(35)= 2.21m/s^2?

I didn't know you can use the velocity of an axis formula for acceleration also. Please clarify if I did it right. It doesn't look right but I got the answer of 2.21m/s^2.

Well, that's the correct equation but you should not use it blindly. It is not that you are using a "velocity of an axis formula", it's simply that you have a vector an dyou are looking for its component along a certain axis.

You should really draw an arc of a circle. The you should draw a line going from the position of the object toward the center of the circle. Now draw the acceleration vector. Do you see that the componen of the acceleration vector along the line going to the center of the circle has acomponent of $a \cos 35$? If you do those steps and you see where this equation comes from, you will have understood the problem.

I drew a diagram of the problem. From the problem I was thinking about using trigonometry because it was a triangle. So I tried an equation from my notes and the closes equation with trigonometry was a v=vxcos(x). I just didn't think that a can be substituted for v. Thanks again. I understand the problem.

## 1. What is angular acceleration?

Angular acceleration is a measure of how quickly an object's angular velocity (rate of rotation) changes over time. It is typically denoted by the symbol α and has units of radians per second squared.

## 2. How is angular acceleration different from linear acceleration?

Angular acceleration is related to an object's rotational motion, while linear acceleration is related to an object's straight-line motion. Angular acceleration is measured in radians per second squared, while linear acceleration is measured in meters per second squared.

## 3. What causes angular acceleration?

Angular acceleration is caused by a net torque acting on an object. Torque is the rotational equivalent of force, and when a net torque is applied, it causes an object to rotate and its angular velocity to change, resulting in angular acceleration.

## 4. How is angular acceleration calculated?

Angular acceleration can be calculated by dividing the change in angular velocity by the change in time. This can be represented by the equation α = (ω2 - ω1) / (t2 - t1), where ω is the angular velocity and t is the time interval.

## 5. What are some real-world examples of angular acceleration?

Some common examples of angular acceleration include a figure skater spinning faster or slower, a car turning a corner, and a record player's turntable rotating at different speeds. Angular acceleration is also important in understanding the motion of planets and other celestial bodies in our solar system.

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