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Homework Help: Translational/Angular Acceleartion

  1. Oct 31, 2009 #1
    1. "If you apply a single force to an object floating in space, you can impart...

    a) only translational acceleration
    b) only angular acceleration
    c) it is possible to impart both
    d) no acceleration will result since there is no gravity

    I think the answer is either a) or c). I'm not sure if there is more than one force needed to accelerate an object angularly though :S
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2009 #2


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    Gold Member

    What force (or forces?) act on Earth to keep it in orbit around the Sun?
  4. Nov 1, 2009 #3
    gravity. but is the earth undergoing angular acceleration? i feel since each year is ~365 days it seems to travel at constant velocity.
  5. Nov 1, 2009 #4


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    Ah, it's traveling at a roughly constant speed, but since velocity is a vector, and our velocity is changing, that must mean gravity is a centripetal acceleration.
  6. Nov 1, 2009 #5
    but isn't angular acceleration the acceleration of a rotating body? Whereas centripetal force is the force directed towards the center of the "circle", which would cause a linear acceleration... right?

    This question was asked in the context of the unit we are doing in regards to torque and rotational dynamics.
  7. Nov 1, 2009 #6

    D H

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Forget about gravity.

    Since the question was asked with regard to torque, what is torque? You deleted the homework template (and risked having your thread deleted). The template asks you to supply the Relevant equations. What are the relevant equations here?
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