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Radius of curvature

  1. Aug 16, 2009 #1
    A train is moving towards north at one place.
    it turns towards north east.
    here we observe that the radius of curvature of outer rail will be greater than that of inner rail
    why???pls explain
    velocity and radial acc. are the same and radius of curvature=v^2/a normal
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2009 #2
    I think you are focusing too much on the equations here...

    if you consider a train going about a circular track, the inner and outer rail of the track will both be circular, but the outer rail will have a radius greater than the inner rail by the width of the train.

    this is all this statement is saying.

    in the equation for centripetal accelleration the radius is assuming a point particle, which a train is not.

    the same equation is true for a non-point-mass where the radius is then for the center of mass.
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