1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What happens in non-uniform circular motion?

  1. Mar 25, 2013 #1
    Hi,

    Say there's a particle moving with just a radial component of acceleration, this will stay in circular motion because the acceleration is always perpendicular to the velocity. But if you introduce a tangential component of velocity, according to my book the particle stays in circular motion but it's tangential velocity changes. Why does this happen instead of the particle just moving in a path that isn't circular? Like an oval or something, seeing as the net acceleration no longer always points to the same place (centre of a circle).

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2013 #2

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    This is true for a very special value of acceleration only.
    You don't have to get a circular motion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  4. Mar 25, 2013 #3

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    1. IF the acceleration is always perpendicular to the velocity, and non-zero, THEN you have circular motion.
    Basically, as mfb says you, have muddled it.

    2. However: If you make the PREMISE that you have circular motion, then it follows that if the speed is constant, your acceleration is strictly radially directed, but if the speed is non-constant, then you have a non-zero, non-radial acceleration component.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: What happens in non-uniform circular motion?
Loading...