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Non-uniform circular motion?

  1. Apr 11, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    If an object is increasing speed at a constant rate around a circle, does the magnitude of acceleration change since there are both the tangential acceleration component (whose magnitude is constant) and the centripetal component (which changes in magnitude as the object increases in speed)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2008 #2
    You could check whether speed appears in the formula for centripetal acceleration and in the formula for tangential acceleration, and consider how centripetal and tangential acceleration combine to make up the total acceleration.
  4. Apr 11, 2008 #3
    The shape of the path depends on the strength of the centripetal force. a = v^2/r still holds for circular paths, even if there is a tangential acceleration. What happens is that the centripetal force accomodates the change. When driving a car and accelerating a curve, its because the static friction (centripetal force) is able to to increase to accomodate the increasing speed...although at some point it may not be able to handle it any further and you slide off.
  5. Apr 12, 2008 #4
    Write the relation for resultant acceleration.
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