# Tangential Force in Uniform Circular Motion: Explained

• destro47
In summary, the tangential force is not a fictitious force and is often referred to as a torque that causes angular acceleration. It is not always present in circular motion and is dependent on the situation. In the given problem, the tangential force is calculated by using the acceleration of the car over a particular arc length of the circle. The magnitude of the inward force needed to keep the car moving in a circle is equal to the centripetal force. In part B, the tangential force is 1.68 N and the centrifugal force is 0.55 N.
destro47
In Uniform circular motion, the centripital acceleration is the inward force that keeps a particle on a circular track. My question is what exactly is the tangential force? Is it a fictious force? My first inclination is that is equal in magnitude to the centripital force but acts perpendicularly (sort of like the normal force). Is this reasoning correct? Someone please let me know, thanks.

destro47 said:
My question is what exactly is the tangential force? Is it a fictious force? My first inclination is that is equal in magnitude to the centripital force but acts perpendicularly (sort of like the normal force). Is this reasoning correct? Someone please let me know, thanks.
The tangential force is not a ficticous force; however, just because a particle undergoes circular motion doesn't nesscarily mean that there is a tangential force acting. A tangential force is often referred to as a torque and causes angular accleration, that is an applied torque increases that angular velocity of the rotating body.

Last edited by a moderator:
Then how does it apply to this problem:

A 7.83 kg toy car is going around a circular track of radius 52.5 m at a constant speed of 17.3 m/s. Find:

- the time it takes for the car to go around the track once

- the magnitude of the inward force needed to keep it moving in a circle

b) The same 7.83 kg toy car now starts at rest on the same track, and accelerates at a constant rate to a final speed of 1.93 m/s in 9.02 seconds. At the instant it reaches its final speed, find:

- the magnitude of the inward force needed to keep it moving in a circle:

- the magnitude of the tangetial force:

Part A was really trivial and I got the answers right on the first try. However, the tangential force thing has thrown me for a bit of loop. For the first answer of part B i think 1.68 N is the answer, but after careful review I think its the answer to question II part B. Is the tangential force a component of the inward force? Does anyone have a clue about this one?

My intuition was correct. 1.68 N is the measure of the tangential force, calculated using the acceleration of the car over that particular arc length of the circle. 0.55 N is the measure of the centrifical force keeping the toy car on the circle.

tnx....

## 1. What is tangential force in uniform circular motion?

Tangential force in uniform circular motion is the force that acts tangent to the circular path of an object. It is responsible for changing the direction of the object's velocity, but not its speed.

## 2. How is tangential force related to centripetal force?

Tangential force and centripetal force are both necessary for an object to maintain circular motion. While tangential force acts tangent to the circular path, centripetal force acts towards the center of the circle, keeping the object from moving in a straight line.

## 3. What factors affect the magnitude of tangential force?

The magnitude of tangential force depends on the mass of the object, the speed at which it is moving, and the radius of the circular path it is following.

## 4. Can tangential force change the speed of an object?

No, tangential force only changes the direction of an object's velocity. This means that the object's speed remains constant while it is in uniform circular motion.

## 5. How is tangential force calculated?

Tangential force can be calculated using the formula F = m(v^2)/r, where m is the mass of the object, v is its velocity, and r is the radius of the circular path. This formula is derived from Newton's second law of motion, which states that force is equal to mass times acceleration.

• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
55
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
8
Views
423
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
7
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
31
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
5
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
20
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
7
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
30
Views
790
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
11
Views
2K