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Introduction to Rotation

Chris Dackow
Period 1

May 17, 2011

1 Quantities
In 2-D kinematics, we used the following quantities.

Position: x (m)
Velocity: v (m/s)
Acceleration: a (m/s2 )

Similarly, in rotating settings, we measure with angular quantities:

Position: θ (radians)
Velocity: ω (radians/s)
Acceleration: α (radians/s2 )

2 Relationships
Using the formula for arc length, we know already that:

x = rθ

and we can then recognize that

v = rω
a = rα
In a calculus setting, the angular quantities are related just as the linear ones, with the deriva-
tive of position with respect to time giving velocity, and the derivative of velocity giving acceleration:

dω d2 x
α= = 2
dt dt

Dackow May 17, 2011

3 Kinematics
Just as with linear motion, if the acceleration is zero, the mathematics are very simple, as

θ = ωt

As with linear motion as well, kinematics equations apply. We simply substitute the angular
quantities for the linear ones:
ω = ωo + αt
∆θ = ωo t + αt2
ω 2 = ωo2 + 2α∆θ

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