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Homework Help: Normal and tangential accel

  1. Apr 17, 2013 #1


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    Gold Member

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    ive reduced a problem down to one last part, and where i need the normal and tangential acceleration components of a moving particle. we are given the following: $$a=xi+yj$$ and $$v=ui+zj$$ where a and v are acceleration and velocity and the x,y,u,z are the components.

    note we are only in 2 dimensions

    i cant think of any way to proceed. thanks for any help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    So when you say you want the tangential acceleration then that would be the a component in the direction of v

    So look at the dot product of a with v

    In a similar vein you should now know how to get the normal component.
  4. Apr 17, 2013 #3
    If you have the equation for the velocity vector v, then you should be able to write down an equation for a unit vector in the direction of the velocity vector. What is that equation?
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