Weird wording, can't understand what they want

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In summary: This is what tangential acceleration does: it changes the speed of an object in circular motion.In summary, the figure represents the total acceleration of a particle moving clockwise in a circle of radius 2.50 m at a certain instant of time. The total acceleration is the vector sum of the radial acceleration and tangential acceleration. The radial acceleration and speed of the particle can be found from the given information, while the tangential acceleration can be determined using the formula a_t = v^2/r.
  • #1
Feodalherren
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Homework Statement


Figure P4.31 represents the total acceleration of a particle
moving clockwise in a circle of radius 2.50 m at a certain
instant of time. At this instant, find (a) the radial acceleration,
(b) the speed of the particle, and (c) its tangential
acceleration.

Homework Equations


The Attempt at a Solution


I probably don't need help with the problem per se. I just need help understanding what they want from me. What in god's name do they mean with "represents the total acceleration"!? The figure is just a circle that shows the radius, an angle, the velocity vector and an acceleration vector that is not centripetal. Oh yeah, and it says a=15m/s^2
 
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  • #2
Total acceleration is the acceleration vector you are given. You are given its magnitude and, apparently, its angle with the velocity vector.
 
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  • #3
http://www.csupomona.edu/~skboddeker/131/131hw/ch4h.htm
It's 4.5 on there.

Thanks Voko!

I'm still sort of confused... If there is another acceleration aside from the centripetal, then the object wouldn't be traveling in a circular path at all. Wouldn't it actually be moving further away from the center in this case?

Also, when I draw the resultant vector, how do I know if I'm supposed to draw it from from the centripetal acceleration to the total acceleration or vice versa, or does it not matter and why?
 
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  • #4
As shown in the diagram, total acceleration is the vector sum of radial acceleration and tangential acceleration.

It is perfectly possible to have non-zero tangential acceleration in circular motion. Consider a wheel initially at rest. Then at some point it is spinning with some constant speed. Clearly it must have had tangential acceleration between these two states. Yet all of its points can only move circularly.
 
  • #5
As a scientist, it is important to be precise and clear in our language and instructions. In this case, it seems like the wording of the problem is a bit confusing. Let's break it down and try to understand what the problem is asking for.

First, the figure is showing the total acceleration of a particle moving in a circle. This means that the figure is showing the combination of the centripetal acceleration (which is directed towards the center of the circle) and the tangential acceleration (which is directed tangentially to the circle).

Next, the problem is asking for three things: the radial acceleration, the speed of the particle, and its tangential acceleration. The radial acceleration is the component of the total acceleration that is directed towards the center of the circle. The tangential acceleration is the component of the total acceleration that is directed tangentially to the circle. The speed of the particle is simply the magnitude of its velocity vector.

So, to summarize, the problem is asking you to find the radial acceleration, the tangential acceleration, and the speed of the particle at a certain instant in time, given a figure that shows the total acceleration and some other relevant information.

I hope this helps clarify the problem for you. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask. As scientists, it is important to always strive for clear and precise communication.
 

1. What do you mean by "weird wording"?

"Weird wording" refers to phrases or sentences that are not commonly used or do not make sense in the context they are being used. It can also refer to language that is difficult to understand or interpret.

2. How can I improve my understanding of confusing language?

One way to improve your understanding of confusing language is to ask for clarification from the person using it. You can also try breaking down the sentence or phrase into smaller parts and analyzing each part individually.

3. Why is it important to use clear and concise language in scientific writing?

Clear and concise language is important in scientific writing because it ensures that the information being communicated is accurate and easily understood by others. It also helps to avoid misinterpretation of data and results.

4. Are there any techniques for avoiding "weird wording" in scientific writing?

Yes, there are several techniques for avoiding "weird wording" in scientific writing. These include using simple and precise language, avoiding jargon and technical terms unless necessary, and using active voice instead of passive voice.

5. Can "weird wording" impact the credibility of a scientific study?

Yes, using "weird wording" can impact the credibility of a scientific study. It can make the study difficult to understand and potentially lead to misinterpretation of the results. Using clear and concise language is important for maintaining the credibility of a scientific study.

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