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Verical and Horizontal Circles

  1. Oct 10, 2007 #1
    This is a general question and one that I cannot get an answer for.

    What is the difference between the 2?

    How do they alter how we approach to solve a problem for each type?

    Answers kindly welcomed
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    There must be more to this question. A circle is a circle. Can you please be more specific in your question?

    Welcome to the PF, BTW.
  4. Oct 10, 2007 #3
    thanks for the welcome

    this doesnt relate (as yet) to a specific mechanics/physics question - I have just come across the terminology whilst doing some reading and wasnt quite sure what they meant by vertical and horizontal circles.

    I mean - a circle is a circle but what differntiates a vertical circle from a horizontal one?
  5. Oct 10, 2007 #4


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The direction of your axes?
  6. Oct 10, 2007 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, that's all I can think of without more information. The equations for the two different circles will be different, if they are in the same coordinate system.

    x^2 + y^2 = R^2 for horizontal, centered on the origin and parallel to the x/y plane.

    y^2 + z^2 = R^2 for vertical, centered on the origin and parallel to the y/z plane.
  7. Oct 10, 2007 #6
    thanks for that, that makes sense

    just off to tackle a question dealing with this: regarding motion in a vertical circle

    looks easy enough
  8. Oct 10, 2007 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Well, now, hold on there. You didn't say anything before about motion in a gravitational field for horizontal and vertical circular paths. There's a big difference between those, right? What would be different about the motion along horizontal and vertical circular paths in a gravitational field?
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