1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Nonuniform Circular Motion

  1. Dec 8, 2007 #1
    I've come back once more with a question.

    -A hawk is flying along a horizontal arc (the path it takes is similar to a semicircle), in which the radius is 12.0m and the tangential acceleration is 1.20 m/s^2.
    All that has to be found is the net acceleration.

    -I know that the centripetal acceleration is constant (otherwise it most likely wouldn't be a circle) and the tangential acceleration is constant. So the the centripetal acceleration and tangential acceleration must be components of the net acceleration. How would I solve for the centripetal acceleration?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2007 #2

    Shooting Star

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    You are wrong. The centripetal accn is v^2/r, and if r is const but v is not, it's not const.

    Do you know the expression for tangential and normal accns? Use the formula:

    a = (dv/dt)T + (v^2/r)N, where T is the unit tangent vector and N is the unit normal vector.
  4. Dec 8, 2007 #3
    I see. So v^2/r applies even to nonuniform circular motion...
  5. Dec 8, 2007 #4

    Shooting Star

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    From the given value of dv/dt, find v. You may have to make some assumptions.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook