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Why velocity increases when radius decreases

  1. Sep 15, 2007 #1
    pls explain what is angular momentum
    and if possible explain why velocity increases when radius decreases (not mathematically)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2007 #2

    rcgldr

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    Linear momentum is equal to speed x mass.

    Angular momentum is basically the same, except the mass is traveling in a circular path, it's relative to the angular velocity (speed of rotation) x mass x radius. The speed of the mass is equal to the angular velocity x radius, and if mass and angular momentum are constant, than a decrease in radius requires an increase in angular velocity, while the speed of the mass remains constant (same speed in a smaller circler means a faster rate of rotation).
     
  4. Sep 16, 2007 #3
    Also, angular momentum is a conserved quantity, having the units of gm-cm2/sec (or erg-sec) in the cgs system. Angular momentum is the cross product of a momentum vector and its radial vector, thus oriented perpendicular to both.
     
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