# Tangential Acceleration

1. Oct 14, 2007

### BuBbLeS01

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
A uniform rod of length 1.4 m is attached to a frictionless pivot at one end. It is released from rest from an angle θ = 23° above the horizontal. Find the magnitude of the initial acceleration of the rod's CM.

2. Relevant equations
At = alpha * r

3. The attempt at a solution
I am reviewing old homework problems for my test tomorrow so I just have a few questions....
What is CM?
Also is At known as initial acceleration not Ac?

2. Oct 14, 2007

### Hootenanny

Staff Emeritus
CM stands for 'Centre of Mass' and since the rod is uniform one can work out the acceleration by looking at the net force acting on the rod's CM.

3. Oct 14, 2007

### BuBbLeS01

So is tangential acceleration known as initial acceleration not centripetal acceleration?

4. Oct 14, 2007

### Hootenanny

Staff Emeritus
No, the tangential acceleration is orthogonal to the centripetal acceleration by definition.

5. Oct 14, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

In general, the acceleration of the center of mass (or any other point on the object) will have two components: centripetal and tangential. But what does the centripetal component depend upon?

6. Oct 14, 2007

### BuBbLeS01

centripetal depends on the forces acting on the object I think

7. Oct 14, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Well, sure. But what I was going for was that centripetal acceleration depends on the speed of rotation. And immediately after this rod is released from rest, what is its initial rotational speed?

8. Oct 14, 2007

### BuBbLeS01

0 rad/s^2, I guess I am don't understand the difference between at and ac and when to use which one.

9. Oct 14, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

The tangential acceleration (which is proportional to the angular acceleration) has to do with the rate at which the angular speed changes. If the rate of rotation is constant, the tangential acceleration is zero.

But as long as the rod is rotating, the center of mass will have some centripetal acceleration.