# Tangential Acceleration

1. Jun 15, 2008

### student 1

How do you find the Magnitude of tangential acceleration if you have uniform circular motion? I know the formula for Tangential Acceleration; however I have no clue how to apply it to determine the Magnitude?

2. Jun 15, 2008

### Cyrus

Its just the magnitude of the vector. It should just be V^2/r.

3. Jun 16, 2008

### tonyh

The formula in the previous post is incorrect (that's the magnitude of the *radial* component of the acceleration). What formula are you using for tangential acc?

4. Jun 16, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

Do you mean centripetal acceleration? If something is performing uniform circular motion, its tangential acceleration is zero. Or do you mean non-uniform circular motion, which will have a tangential component of acceleration?

5. Jun 16, 2008

### student 1

No, I mean tangential acceleration. That's probably the answer I'm looking for I just have to know how to express that the acceleration would be zero if it was uniform circular motion using words and one equation.

6. Jun 16, 2008

### student 1

Im suppose to use At=[dv/dt].

7. Jun 16, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

OK, where v is the speed, not the velocity vector. For uniform circular motion, dv/dt = 0.

8. Jun 16, 2008

### rcgldr

Tangental acceleration can still exist on a object traveling in a circular path. The centripetal force just needs to change with respect to speed2, so it always equals m |v|2 / r.

The magnitude of tangental acceleration would be the magnitude of angular acceleration times r = |angular acceleration| x r.

Last edited: Jun 16, 2008