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Non Unifrom Circular Motion

  1. Mar 9, 2013 #1
    Forgive me if this question is stupid.
    How an object undergoes circular motion when the trajectory is not circular. I mean if it is not moving in a circle then why is it called circular motion.
    http://emuonline.emu.edu.tr/phys101/PhIch6pg3_files/image009.gif [Broken]

    Let's suppose I am running along a circular path and I have a leaking cup of paint with me. Of course as long as speed is not changing, the paint will trace out a nice circular path.
    But if I start increasing my speed, won't I go slightly of the circular track because I would have traveled just a tiny bit than was necessary ??
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2013 #2


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    Here a circle is used to approximate an arbitrary path locally. Given the same tangential acceleration aT, the instantaneous centripetal acceleration aR at the point P of the path is the same as on the circle. The curvature of a path is defined via the radius of a circle.

    You can stay on a circular path and just increase your speed. You just need more centripetal force then.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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